Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Month 11 Day 9

Notebook entry
Seven reportsgiven, article from Col. Schmitt, Gen.'s response to overrun, 30 minute response, spoke in the morning afternoon class with illegible.

Journal entry
I spoke about what happened with the Major in the morning in my journal yesterday. 

After speaking with him I think he was trying to prove that neither he nor Col Schmitt were nieve to the problems that we were running into with the ANA.  He sent out the E-mail which appartently originated from Col Schmitt' desk which described the parallels between Vietnam and the Stan.  I have heard the Col make these comments myself and described them in past journal entries.   It seems like no one wants to get out quite as bad as the guys who are in the military.  Its not that we are tired of war, its just that we all want to win and we don't see how it is going to happen.  As Col Schmitt said 'we can't get these people to get out of their own way.'

We were down to three linguists, niether the Maj or the LtCol were going to go without one, so the rest of us fought over the last guy, and Bash was working on BATing with Lekic.  I wish Gunny hadn't fired Mansor, he sucked, but he worked better than no one.  I was good enough with my Dari to get by in the morning and convey my meaning, but I don't have a big enough vocabulary to finely parse my meaning, so I wasn't about to teach a class.  I spoke with the S2 about some jerk ANA solder who threatened our female Marines, and dealt with some transfer policies.

There were two nearly simultaneous sigacts that involved the Afghans yesterday.  One was a firefight where they reported that they were being overrun, another was an IED strike (we heard about that about 20 min after the overrun). They called the because their kandak had shut off their radio because it was lunchtime.  We run in and tell the General his soldiers are being overrun by 15 Taliban (this was an unpartnered patrol), and what does he do, ask his aid for the cell phone number of the XO, the S3, the S1.  He tells his aid to have the contact the XO via the radio and have him call the General.  He signs paperwork for the Cipher officer, the S1 and other officers, while lounging in his big chair.  He shows only mild concern at what is happening, he eats some of his snacks, and waits for a call back. He sits on his ass in his office for 20 minutes before he decides to go use the COC radio.  He raises one of the kandaks on the radio and one via the NIPR telephone that we have installed in the COC. 30 min had elapsed since the message was passed.  I just couldn't believe how little concern he showed for the death of his own men, you are their commander, you are supposed to love them.  This is where this place is broken, in the heart of the people.  The Marines showed up and the TB scattered in the overrun scenario, and he finds out that he had 3 ANA WIA and 1 ANA KIA.  Based on the type of detonator and the location in the convoy, it seems like they were targeting the ANA.  My ANA S2 doesn't track Sigacts finely enough to understand this distinction, but if they understand this, they are going to be really resistant to our drawdown.   I can't imagine us giving them MATVs, they are hard enough for Americans to drive, and they don't have anywhere near the maintenance culture they need to keep them running. 
In the afternoon we were again running into linguist problems.  The RCT was set to come over here without linguist support.  I managed to get Fareed to help them out, he was reluctant because he was still pissed at me for telling him he had to do his job rather than talk on his cell in the middle of the day.  The leave flight was going at 1600, the time I was supposed to meet with Tawoos.  I told him about a few of the things that were on my mind in my Dari, but again, I'm not good enough to do a class on something I'm not familiar with with him, so we worked through a couple of things, and then we were done.  The leave flight was taking priority over class.

People are all spun up about the SecDef dog and pony.  I was searching for a new job. 

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