Posted by: Dude in the Desert | December 17, 2009

16 Dec 09

first off, I can’t believe it’s already the middle of December — 2009 is almost over … crazy… time seems to be flying by–well, not particularly here in Afghanistan, but time overall…March will be 19 yrs in the Air Force for me…I talk with some of the guys here at work and they have been in for 3-5-8 years…I remember way back then in my time…seems like soooo long ago, but at times it seems like yesterday I was going on my first deployment to Saudi for Desert Storm/Watch whatever it was …it’s been a great adventure with lots of ups and downs–luckily a lot more ups than downs…well, work is the same ol boring stuff…not much going on…today we checked out a generator for the Canadians…there are a few liason soldiers from the Canadian Army here on our camp…not sure what they really do, but I guess they have some guys out at FOBs and probably some type of Civil Affairs stuff too…but that took up about 20 minutes and we were back to doing nothing…it’s getting colder–even tho the sun is out, shining bright, it’s still freakin cold…this morning it was 30 F–ice on the ground and in the truck windows…still no snow on the ground here on the base tho…the mountains are covered and it looks like it’s getting closer, but still not here…there is a lot of talk about the whole “troop surge” thing, but we haven’t really seen any difference…this place is so big and there are so many people it’s hard to tell any difference anyway…and there are mixed reviews among the troops.. some people say it’s a good thing, some people say we have too many troops as it is…my personal thoughts are this–either completely take over and control the entire country and retrain/re-hire everyone in the police, govt, military and teach them the right way to do things— or get the majority of us the hell outta here, turn off all the cameras, and let the Secret Squirrel guys take out all the bad guys and be done with it…the latter would take less time and money, but the former would be more pleasing to most of the world…either way there would be a definitive plan…this extra troop thing with a deadline of 18 months is a bunch of shit…I think the military leadership and govt have a plan, or an idea of what will happen, but I have been here–boots on the ground–for about 15 months total now and I haven’t seen a damn thing change…there are still just as many attacks, as many corrupt police, politicians, military…there are just as many people living in poverty, and the ones we have given HA (humanitarian aid) to are back begging for more…we give them all this stuff to use for a year or so, but then when it’s worn out or too small they just need more stuff…they haven’t found ways to support themselves, they haven’t opened up more factories to produce this stuff, they haven’t found a new exportable resource to increase national income…it’s exactly the same as it was 30 years ago…there are a few more light bulbs in houses, a few more tractors on the farms, maybe a few less poppy fields, but as far as I can tell, this process we are currently using will take 50 years or more to accomplish the main goal–make the Afghan people/govt self sufficient and self secured against the Taliban/terrorists…but, that’s just one Airman’s view of the whole thing…I am not privvied to any secret info, or insider trading, or anything the world public doesn’t hear on tv–except the fact that I am here and see it with my own eyes…of course, I haven’t heard any big booms lately–maybe things are changing and I just don’t know it…maybe all the bad guys have decided to respect the 8 days of Hannukah, maybe they just wanna stay out of the cold for now…who knows…one thing I do know is that 8 yrs after Sept 11th we are still here fighting and things aren’t much better… what’s gonna happen in these next 18 months that we couldn’t do in 8 yrs ? ok, I guess I’m done ranting and rambling…just some thoughts I felt like sharing…all is well, and I am loving all the goodies and packages I am receiving…the guys at the barn are all telling me to stop bringing in all the “fat pills” but every container I bring in there is empty in a day or two…they all love it…thanks to all who has sent anything…we all appreciate it very much…well, off to another night of hopefully peaceful sleep…love you and miss you all
OOL
B

Afghan toilets--just a hole in the ground with no drainage--it stank really bad

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Responses

  1. Thanks for your perspective on progress (or lack thereof) on the ground there. It’s very difficult to tell what’s going on, except when we hear of another bombing and/or death of a US military member. And it’s hard for us to understand the mentality of the Taliban or Al-Qaeda, since they are Arabs and have a totally different culture from Americans…and we all think our way is the best, without fully understanding their way. That’s what causes wars in the first place. I’d like to see our troops pull out, but the truth is, the economy here is really bad. If those Guard and Reserve personnel came home, they would be lucky to find a job. And there are just as many, or more, people dying every day in big cities across the country from violence at home as there are in Iraq and Afghanistan. I just don’t know that there is one good answer or solution to the whole thing. All I do know is that we love you and want you to always be safe!


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