August 10, 2009

Michael Yon - No Young Soldiers

10 August 2009
Sangin, Afghanistan

Mike writes:
David,
Just back from a good mission. This dispatch was just published about a mission from last week:

Daily dramas unfolded, including the bangs, booms and small-arms fire that punctuated the times. At 1800, I was preparing to go to orders with 1 Platoon, A Company of 2 Rifles, when shots from a large-caliber rifle began cracking low over base. I passed by sniper, Kris Griffith, and said, “Hey Kris, why don’t you grab your rifle and go shoot that guy?” Kris replied that two other sniper teams were on it. “He’s close,” I said, and Kris answered, “About 600 meters.” Then we went our separate ways. Orders were given and then the soldiers performed final checks on their gear and tried to fall to sleep in the sweltering evening heat. Some nights I would go to sleep using the sleeping bag as a pillow, only to wake up with it drenched in sweat. The alarm was set for 0213 hours, but at 0211 I sat up and turned it off before it could wake the soldiers who were not going on the mission. I had nineteen minutes to pull on my boots, body armor, and small rucksack, before I had to get to breakfast, engage in final conversations, and then show up for the mission at 0310.



As with al Qaeda, the Taliban is our best weapon against themselves. The Taliban issued a code of conduct, which likely was a blunder on their part. Why? Because the Taliban are undisciplined savages, and every time they violate their own code of conduct—which happens every day and night—the good guys have a chance to broadcast the transgression. (READ MORE)

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