Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Month 11 Day 31

Notebook Entry
10 reports given see above, meeting with Colonels, combined combat operations center picture. Class from Colonel

Journal entry
I printed off four copies of these reports.
1. the personnel and equipment stats
2. the pictures and basic bio on Samir and Razaq
3. the PIRs
4. the HUMINT source funding information

I got all four of the colonels to come over to our tents so we could
speak frankly.

I told them
"Intel is broken in this brigade, the guys we do have think that they
are human photocopy machines.  They have created a PIR list but the
General, being a Muj, doesn't understand how to use it or what it is
for" I gave them a rundown on the manning issues that we had in the
brigade they were shocked, Col Omar had not told them that they were
missing so many guys at this level.  Probably because Col omar didn't
know, he told them that we had no one reporting for duty in second
kandak when we have an S2 and a sgt there. they asked me what I had
given to the section I told them "I require them to just try to use
their own supply system, I realize that the supply system is broken,
but I am not going to consider giving them anything until they at
least try to order their own equipment." they gave me the north-south
on that one.  I found out that Razaq had not been demoted as I was
told he has been promoted to LtCol and he was working for the deputy
counterintel officer at MoD.  Awesome, rewarding failure.  I gave them
a rundown on how long he was gone how he had been implicated in
stealing.  I then gave them a rundown on the HUMINT source funding.  I
told them about the 143,000 that was missing, about the second funds
disbursement while Razaq was on leave, I told them how buddy-buddy the
Corps G2 and Razaq were.  I told them that my guys didn't get anywhere
near the amount of money that they signed for.  I then told them that
I knew that every level of command from MoD on down steals the HUMINT
money and everyone points the finger at everyone else so the system
doesn't work.  I got a bunch of wry smiles.  Then I said "I am intel
too you know" that got some laughs. I told them that my only hope was
that the next generation would come in, the Sgts I have been working
with, take over for the officers and maybe they can change the system.

I took them to a class with the Sgts, the sgts showed them some of the
things that they have learned.  They did pretty well.  It was good for
them to see that the Sgts didn't know the Cardinal directions, could
barely remember the areas in thier own AO, and didn't know any of the
friendly or enemy symbology.  It will keep them grounded about what
they can expect. The Cols were a bit annoying about the class, they
sat in the back and asked my guys a bunch of questions that they
didn't know after I told them that they had very limited knowledge.
They kind of hurt my guys feelings.

After the class I took them to the combined COC.  The general got to
walk around and explain to them exactly how we were partnered, got to
call his kandaks and look very important, that made him very happy.  I
had to explain to the colonels how a Combat Operations Center actually
worked, how we used the video feeds from our Unmanned Aireal Vehicles.
 They had never seen anything like it before.  On the way back I had a
conversation with Col Basir, a thin man with an ernest face and a
salt-and-pepper beard. He started
"I look at all this and I don't think we are going to be able to do
this after you leave.  I think the Taliban will come back" he said.
"You might be right, I give the South about two years after we leave
and Kabul about five years, but I hope for your sake that I am wrong"
I told him.
"Why is America so different from Afghanistan?"
"I think its because Afghanistan isn't a country, its just the place
where all of the other countries stopped. People care about themselve,
their brothers, their cousins, clans, tribes, and then way in the back
they might care about Afghanistan."
"You are right, I think the people don't care about Afghanistan."
"You told me all that you know about corruption in the ANA this
morning. Why don't you all do more to stop it? We all know that it
starts from the top, we know that you must see it, why don't you step
in and talk to the mentors in Kabul and get these guys removed."
"I don't have any connection to the mentors in Kabul, I only talk to
the guys at the Corps level. If I had their names I would try to get
in touch with them."   I said truthfully, but knowing that they do not
have the power to hire and fire the bad apples.
"I guess I always assumed that there was so much corruption that you
simply could not remove that much of it." I said.
"Maybe, but there are some good officers out there, but because they
don't have very strong connections or money, they don't go into intel,
they get assigned as the religious and cultural affairs officers."
By this time we reached our camp.
His tone turned dark.
"You know, it is going to cost a lot more money if you leave than if you stay."
I was somewhat taken aback because I didn't have any sway over these
geopolitical issues.
"You might be right I know they said if we had spent 2 billion after
the Russians left that we could have prevented this, but I'm just a
Captain.  I'm trying to do my best, all I can tell you is that I am
writing a book, and I will say in it that there is at least one
officer in Kabul who thinks this might be possible if the Americans
get more involved in defeating corruption"
He nodded his head.
"I will go to Kabul and tell them about the problems at this level, believe me."
I hope he did.

In the afternoon we took a picture at the Regiment of all of the officers.

I came back and this room full of Cols were giving classes to my guys.
 They were not really classes they could use.  They were classes on
counterintel talking a lot about internal threats, they were also
telling them about how they coudl get agents from out in town.  It was
very tactical-level stuff, not the kind of things that Cols shoudl be
concerned about, but with their limited knowledge base they were
showing that they cared in the best way they knew how.  It was
misdirected and it will confuse my guys, but it showed that they
cared, no one would have insulted them if they didn't teach any

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