Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Month 8 Day 10

Notebook Entry
Counterinsurgency reflex for Afghan National Army, Lines of Operation Sync, “maybe the district Governor knows his people” Intelligence officer late. Counterintelligence no-show Asadullah 20 minutes Qais class good MoD-14 Major Omar. Drivers course starts.

Journal Entry
I wondered to myself in the morning if the impulse to give the ANA [Afghan National Army] stuff was really a reflex COIN [Counterinsurgency] action. So often when marines deal with the locals now, they try to use the ‘stuff’ solution. They try to buy loyalty and support. I wonder if they think that they can establish good will with the ANA in the same way? I also wonder if giving civilians stuff is just as effective as giving the ANA stuff, that is to say, not effective at all. They are just going to want more and keep asking you for it once you give it to them the first time.

I went to a painful Lines of Operation sync meeting. The most interesting thing that came out of it was about the district governor of one of the districts in our AO [Area of Operations]. The Marines were talking about GIRoA [Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan]-led eradication. The Marines thought that its was going to be a big deal for the locals, then DG [district governor] said that it would not be a major issue. The DG turned out to be right and the comment from the Marine was that ‘maybe this guy actually knows his people’-no shit. The dumb-ass from the state department mr Muhammad Ehsan, (he gave himself the call sign ‘Civ-Razor’) kept bringing up stupid shit, wanting to take the poppy directly from the farmers, saying that everyone in the middle of some project are squatters. I am glad to see that the DoS sends their best and brightest.

Had class at 1500. Qais taught about rout analysis. It was pretty good, all the better because he was teaching it. I explained that we would now need to take a step back and actually collect the data for them to analyze. Asadullah was 20 min late. GSU S2 [Garrison Support Unit Intelligence] didn’t show. I spent the next hour trying to teach the GSU S1 and the Bde S1 [Administration sections] Mod 14s [supply request forms]. Both of these guys are Colonels in their 50s. They don’t know and don’t want to learn computers. I told them that I taught my father how to use a computer when he was there age after he had been a farmer his whole life. That actually brought them around. We worked on it together. The Bde S1 said that he would be teaching the other guys what he knew the next day.

Finally, I had gotten a call about this the night prior, but I we dealt with it on the 10th. Maj Omar, the Corps Liaison officer in Kabul who has been wrangling up all of the guys for the leave flight directly to Dwyer, told one of our linguists that he was going to have to pay a $150 bribe to get on the flight. The USMC pays $20,000 per flight and it cost Maj Omar nothing. Fareed said he was an ETT linguist, Maj Omar shrugged and said so what. It make you wonder how much our soldiers are paying to go on leave. The really surprising things was not that it happened, but that the Gunny was surprised. I guess he has had minimal contact with the ANA so it makes more sense, but if guys who live on the camp with the ANA don’e realize the corruption that underlies this system, it makes me wonder what the rest of the military, newsmedia, or American public know.

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