“Ooooh, Major Far-nan-do, we’re gonna sell you to the Taliban for a million dollars . . . laa-di-laaa . . . we’re gonna trade you for a new truck . . . for a new house!”
It was late at night in Helmand province last summer, and my Afghan army companions — Jawad and Raz Mohammed — were improvising a song in Dari, clapping their hands to the beat. They could barely get through a verse without bursting into laughter. I did my best to laugh, too. We were friends, and they were joking, but for a moment it made me wonder: Could I trust these men?… Seguir leyendo »
Returning home after 14 months in Afghanistan, I’ve sensed a growing gloom over the American war effort there. Many of the policy wonks, politicos and academics I encounter here seem resigned to failure.
While sipping their Starbucks, a few mutter the word “unwinnable.” They speak in grim sound bites: A gunfight on the United States Embassy’s doorstep. A helicopter shot out of the sky. But before people outside the Beltway accept this hardening conventional wisdom as fact, allow me to offer a different view.
I am an Army Special Forces officer by trade, and spent the past year leading a small team of Dari- and Pashto-speaking Americans whose mission was to embed with Afghan Army units.… Seguir leyendo »