Saturday, August 10, 2013

Month 12 Day 10

Notebook entry
18 reports given, Munir maps, Salim not in drivers, Ministry of Defense form 14, $250,000 Darrell, zero parts.

Journal entry
I went to the gym this morning .  I am growing thankful for every additional day that I get in there.  The MWSS guys are going to be taking all of the gym equipment with them when they leave.  The trouble for me is that they don't actually own any of it.  A bunch of it was here before they arrived.  Fair enough a bunch of it was shipped in about a week and a half ago by them, but a lot of the rest of it has been here for over a year, and they said that they promised some of it to other people on camp.  I'm like cool, so I can promise a public part to someone now.  anyway  the reason that I bring it up is not because it is especially annnoying, but because it is emblematic of the difference between the ANA and the US military.  even using the USAF Red Horse showers is a big dela they think these are 'our' showeres.  Obviously that is bullshit the American taxparyer didn't earmark money for the USAF in Afghanistan, nor did they earmark certain fuel trucks or certain water trucks to carry water for them, but they take ownership of their stuff.  Even when an NCO walks into a room he starts using the possessive, he'll say to a  yound Marine 'get me my trashcan' even if it is just sitting there and it is a classroom.  The Afghans don't do this.  they don't have personal weapons, they don't have take ownership of their tents, their showers or their facilities.  They will generaally just run it into the ground and ask for someone else to come fix it.  Tragedy of the commons problems are rampant here.  If everyone has access toa  resource and they can gain some marginal utility form it suse, then they will use the hell out of it well, that's what these guys do.  For most people these problems are solved by and external fore like a government taxing and restricitng use or dealing with upkeep, like in public parks.  But even in the more hierarchical organizations, like the Afghan military the leadership does not step up to this responsibility, and the underlings do not want them to.  The attitude is like Col Mustaga and the Ablutions buildings.  "I know you will find a way to secure my buidlings for me and stop my soldiers from pooping in them."  That is what happens when you have no sense of common identity, common claim, or common heritage.  

I came back and CJ Radin wanted to come by early to work with them on their slides.   That was a good idea because we are solow on terps because of the drivers course-main effort.  HE worked with them and ten rolled aroudn and I still didn't have a linguist I came over and started to work with Munir and my sergeants were like "what about our class"  I kind of smiled and I said, lets do some review.  We did and it was pretty good.  I was proud that they asked.  Salim has been kicked out of the drivers course so he's around now.  I worked with Munir on three more map requests.  He did pretty good on the subsequent iterations.  I was pretty proud of him.  He then wanted to work on getting supplies.  I sent the Sergeants on a search for the CD that I had burned them with all of the supply information on it.  They found it.  I gave him a quick run-through told him to take a stab, and that I'd help him the next day.  Again I was pretty proud that he wanted to work on stuff.  Salim wanted me to uninstall "Windows Black" an iranian pirated version of windows from his computer.  I talked to the assistant code officer, and they gave it a try and failed.  At least they are trying. 

I had lunch with the LtCol and told him about the Semi-successful map requests which were then deflected by Corps saying that there is some other type of special form that no one can seem to find a copy of that we need. He said "it's almost done, it's a shitty way to look at it, but it is almost done."  He told me to go have a look at the Generals new toilet, the plumbing is just a pipe that runs through a small cinder-block wall between the buildings.  The feces will travel three feet and sit on the ground or he'll tell his soldier to clean it up.  all so that he doesn't have to shit with his soldiers.  Awesome. 

I worked on the Gazetter article in the afternoon.  To my surprise the LtCol didn't tone it down he increased the tone.  He is so good at hiding how he really feels about this place. 

The only other thing of note that happened today was with our communications maintenance contractor.  There are basically no repair parts in the country for ANA radios, and the pre-fab repair shops which are like pop-up trailers (about 90 of them) were all stolen in Kabul before they could make it to this level.  So we not have a contractor living on our camp with no ability to do his job making over 200K per year.  Awesome. 

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