Saturday, April 13, 2013

Month 8 Day 13

Notebook Entry
General Independent Movement, Morning Duty, Psychological Operations, Check on teachers, Jabar and Qais IPB.

Journal Entry
The General conducted his first independent movement to Garmsir yesterday.

I tried to show the Major the statistics about leave and UA [Unauthorized Absence] that I have been collecting since the beginning of the year. I had them in nice, easy-to-understand graphs. He told me “those UA numbers are all cooked” I’m like. Sir, I am the one who is collecting the numbers. If I didn’t get the guy’s biometrics, then I didn’t put him into the system. They can’t really be cooked. He said we could talk about it the next day. This is the same response that I got the last time I brought it up with him. It is really annoying. I have the information to prove that what we are doing is not working, but he has invested so much energy into the leave flights that he refuses to believe the numbers.

I had duty in the morn. Psyops came out to check on some products. I checked on my teachers. They were in the middle of class. I read the contract that I am now expected to enforce on them. It says they are supposed to work 45 hrs per week. Hardly.

I tried to have assadullah find us on the Map yesterday morning. First he thought we were in Mongolia, then Qandahar, then on the helmand river, then on the wrong side of the river. There was a lot of Socratic questioning that went into pointing him in the right direction.

With that in mind I gave the Intelligence preparation of the battlespace to the ANA [Afghan National Army]. I went through a few slides and Qais didn’t write anything down, so I asked what was wrong. He said he didn’t understand what I was doing. Part of the problem was Mansour. His Dari is almost as bad as mine. I told him “all of Helmand and Parts of Nimruz are in the MEFs [Marine Expeditionary Force's] area of operations” he translated, “Nimruz is close to Helmand province. ” the other problem is that they just didn’t understand why I was telling them about canals, rainfall, temperature, hydrography because they don’t understand how these people live. I had to start again and I got through about 10 slides of a 120 slide presentation.

I met with the count [the administration officer named 'the count' because he looked like the Sesame Street character, and because his job was to count people]. It is difficult to talk to someone about the percent of their soldiers who are on leave when they don’t understand the concept of a percent. So I gave him the number instead. “You can’t send more than six officers on leave at a time and you have already sent 10” He said the numbers were wrong. We went by name, and he agreed that I was right, but that the General would have to stop signing for them.

I brought this up with the Major, that they really didn’t rate to send anyone on leave and he said: that they will have to fix it on the fly. Sir, it is all well and good to create a policy, but why bother if you don’t want to enforce it.

We had a combined staff meeting for the ANA to plan the movement of 8 vehicles up to Kabul. I know this is going to get touted, but the ANA had no idea what they were doing, none of the mentors needed to be there, and it was a huge waste of time.

Literacy class in progress

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