Monday, May 27, 2013

Month 9 Day 27

Notebook entry
40 reports given, leave flight, maintenance, weather, combined Combat Operations Center, Corps intelligence at Kandaks, trust and riches, 15% is 1% growth Paul Zac

Journal entry
The leave flight finally came off in the morning.  It was a contracted leave flight, so it didn’t end up sucking out a ton of our manpower. Most of the day was consumed by maintenance of gear. I gave Salim the weather. 

That Major event for the day was the major relaying the Colonel’s order that the ANA should be commanding and controlling from the combined combat Operations center.  The major took this to mean that we just need to get them over there.  He has basically said this is going to be our ditch to die in. He is willing to deprive them of fuel, water, maintenance, whatever to force them to go there.  He also wanted carrots, cell phone antennas, satellite TV, to get them there.  I still think this is wrong-headed.  What real commanding and controlling do we do at this level?  We basically just surge air assets and clear fires, both of which could really be done by the battalions, on a day-to-day level the only thing is logistical requirements filled.  There is no maneuver of ground units in the short term. Outside of the military problems there is the cultural problem that they are not going to do anything without the Generals approval.  The problem of space, where are you going to put all of the Afghans.  The problem of perception, why are you forcing your ‘equal’ partner to come to you and command and control, why aren’t you going to him? Why are you giving him capabilities, NIPR telephones and internet access, that he won’t have in the end. All of the original problems are still there.

Oddly, I just don’t really care.  There is no point fighting this, the Major wants this one and has said that he is willing to use the nuclear solution to get it because the Colonel wants it so bad.  I wonder also if he sees the sunset of our tour and is ready to use ‘the nuclear option’ merely because he doesn’t think anything else will pop up that he will need it for.  We really only have about 2 months of us left, after that Advon arrives, the main body arrived, relief in place starts and we progressively transfer responsibility.

One thing I thought of last night while I was listening to my book is that trust might be a reason this country is so poor.  There was  a study overseen by Paul Zac (mentioned in Ch 3 of the Rational Optimist) which asked people a series of questions like whether they believed people would return a dropped wallet and stated that for every 15% growth in trust of the society you could increase the annual GDP growth by 1%, that is HUGE.  PerhapsSalim’s comments about the need to lock up everything and the thick walls around everything down here are telling. 

I am just tired.  The viritue and vice of the same-old-routine is that it is the same-old-routine, nothing gets better or changes.

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