Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Report from the Field, Afghan

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    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Report from the Field, Afghan

    Interviewed one of the US Military cadre, just back
    from Afghan.

    Now I caution the reader, these are perceptions
    of one US military personnel, these views are
    what he experienced in his cloistered military base,
    not living with the indigenous people.
    His views are not right or wrong, just his experience.
    On and near one big Mil base in Afghan.

    Excellent interview, many of my OSINT inputs meshed
    with his personal experience, but he was able to add a depth
    to the context not available in the news.

    There were 3 or 4 occasions where he wouldn't go,
    some of my questions lead to classified material.

    But I am happy to report the troops seem to be over
    all content with the current armor, personal and vech.
    Exceptions being the collar which most don't wear and
    the crotch protection.
    Collar to stiff and hot, sometimes 140 degrees.
    12 bottles of water a day.
    And the crotch protection too difficult to enter/egress
    from vech.
    Both not used as much.

    Another are the smells and hygiene, many Afgani out
    side the main cities don't bathe much. Open sewers
    and garbage dumps near their homes.

    R&R not much, can't go anywhere alone, few green zones
    are safe. And there is NO beer, I expected that would be
    official position but much beer smuggled on base.
    There isn't any beer on bases.

    Who are the Taliban? Depends on what day it is,
    Civilians move back and forth depending on need
    for money. Eye scans help separate long term
    Taliban from the occasional worker.
    And they tend to eye scan everyone.

    To Track Militants, U.S. Has System That Never Forgets a Face 

    Drugs: Every where. Many confiscated from the
    Afghan civilians when they come on base.
    And it depends on which drugs are seized by
    which nationals are doing guard duty at the time.
    All seize heroin but some let maryjane and hash

    Afghan diet in outlying areas mostly vegetables.
    And eaten with the right hand, left hand is used for
    personal hygiene. You never want to shake their
    left hand.

    As a culture they don't seem to be afraid of death,
    going to see Allah and the virgins.
    Women are treated worse than dogs.
    Cases of Afghan men almost beating their
    women to death and US troops are prohibited
    from intervening. Women and kids are renewable
    resources, sell them as bombers, strap a bomb on them
    and send them off. Marry a new wife or have another

    Most of the religious strife and terrorism can be traced
    back to money as primary motive.

    Over all they are very religious and pray 5 or more
    times a day, and see no conflict in praying 5 X a day
    and beating the wife.

    Most up to about age 40 would rather party than
    work, something like Punks in US.
    If they get angry with each other they tend
    to settle it among themselves, cases he has
    seen is smashing out all the car windows,
    trying to run some over with the car, justice
    belongs to the one with the most power.

    They fear the Taliban, and might not even
    know who the Taliban cadre are in their area.

    They don't tend to fear Americans and are aware
    of American limits on the use of force.

    About attacks on Americans, not may left alive
    on Taliban side after attack, and they get bonuses
    for killing Americans, but need video proof.
    Which accounts for all the terrorist videos.
    Heard Taliban pay $10 per dead US trooper.
    with proof, video.

    Buying from locals: everything tends to start
    at $100 even if price ends up a $1.

    Hope this provides additional insight into
    what our troops are facing in Afghan.

    Again I thank all active duty troops.

    War Anthropologist.



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