April 15, 2010

From the Front: 04/15/2010

News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front. (New complete posts come in below)

Dispatches:
Bouhammer:
What about our soldiers, don’t they deserve recognition - Let me start by saying I mean no disrespect to the dead. Regardless of how they die, I really try to never speak ill or disrespect anyone who has died out of concern for their family. All sorts of people die on the job, whether it is police officers, bus drivers, crab fisherman or miners. I feel for the families of the West Virginia mining disaster, I really do. But I feel more for the families of the US troops who have died in combat and continue to every week. In fact there have been 118 US troops killed since Jan 1st, 2010 and how many times have you seen the President order the flags of the nation flown at half-staff? How many, 118? Nope, maybe 80? NOPE. What about ten times? No WAY. How about ZERO times. In fact the last time he has done this was on November 6th, 2009 for the victims of the Ft. Hood massacre. Victims that were military or civilians supporting the military. So 118 troops have died since Jan 1st, and not once has he ordered a flag lowered. (READ MORE)

Afghanistan My Last Tour: Mujahedeen Revisited - After yesterday’s interview with a former Mujahedeen commander, I was inspired to revisit him. I was prepared to meet the ANA Brigade surgeon but I couldn’t locate Mir Wais, the interpreter. I wanted to get his side of the story before confronting the ANA officer. Since he wasn’t available I opted to visit the garrison Religious Officer. He agreed to bring in his revolver that was presented to him by his former commander Massoud. As Omid and I walked to the RO’s office, I thought about the Brigade Surgeon and the allegations of him stealing the children’s school supplies. As much as I want to confront him with these allegations, I also want to leave this country in peace and not be distressed during my final days here. Last night it really bothered me, but my wife and some friends responded with some comforting words and support. As such, I will leave this chapter unfinished and go forward with my journey because there would be no just resolution. (READ MORE)

al Sahwa: COIN: Art & Culture - President Obama has proposed a 3.7% cut to the $161.3 million alloted for last year's funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). What does this have to do with the military and the state of warfare? Retired Brigadier General, Nolen Bivens, testified to Congress yesterday (Tuesday, 13 April, the day of President Thomas Jefferson's birth), saying to the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; "Future conflicts should be approached with a better understanding of how a nation values its cultural heritage and its arts." His statements come with a proposed 7.5% increase in funding, estimated at a total budget cost of $180 million, one supported by a large advocacy group, Americans for the Arts. Bivens' comments call for the "arts," however this is to be particularly defined, to be a vital component of diplomatic efforts both home (i.e. veterans) and abroad (i.e. insurgents). I focus my brief analysis here on the latter: (READ MORE)

Katherine Tiedemann: Daily brief: Pakistani Senate passes constitutional reforms - A suspected U.S. drone strike targeted a village some 15 miles west of the main town in Pakistan's North Waziristan, Miram Shah, yesterday and killed several alleged. It is the second reported strike in the same area in last few days. The insurgent group Lashkar-e-Islam is ready to enter talks with the Pakistani government, according to Dawn, after ongoing military operations in Khyber agency, the group's stronghold. A spokesman for Lashkar protested that the group is not fighting against the Pakistani state or challenging the writ of the government and so should not be targeted. Of the $750 million in U.S. aid promised to Pakistan's troubled tribal regions since 2007, only $150 million has been delivered. The U.N. report on the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is due out later today, after being delayed two weeks at the request of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir's widower. (READ MORE)

At War: Leaving the Korangal Valley - By the time you read this, the soldiers who lived on the small mountain base known as the Korangal Outpost will have left, taking much of the equipment they brought with them. Generators and some fuel will remain for local elders to divvy up, the sand-filled barriers known as Hescos which insulate against bomb blasts will be there still, but not much else. A place iconic for its violence and breathtaking in its beauty, the outpost was at times during its four years in existence the deadliest place in Afghanistan for Americans and the Afghan soldiers who fought with them. In some ways the place was a memorial to the 42 men who died there. Two of the smaller satellite bases, Restrepo and Vimoto, were named for soldiers who were killed in the valley. Soldiers who fought there have thought long and hard about the place, which marked them indelibly. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: More Friendly Chats - The news today of a terrorist plot stopped in its tracks hit Iraqis sideways. According to authorities, a plane was to be hijacked from Najaf airport and flown into the resting place of Imam Ali in a plot that mirrored the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washingon. It will be intresting to see how the western papers report this tomorrow. Many people here say it's a sign at how desperate the terrorists are to stir up sectarian violence. They haven't been able to ignite it with smaller attacks, and they are under pressure to do something big. They feel a need to stage an attack as devestating as that on the Golden Mosque attack of 2006. Sure it may sound like nonsense. Just as it is important to listen to the experts who might have an objective perspective on Iraq, I'd like people to listen to Iraqis for insight. Take how the vacuum in the Iraqi government has been examined. (READ MORE)

Iraq The Model: Terrorist Plot to Attack Najaf Shrine With Hijacked Airliners? - A government delegation arrived in Najaf Wednesday afternoon to discuss the closure of Najaf’s international airport. The delegation included the ministers of defense, transport and national security. A source in Najaf’s province council told Al-Sumaria News that “the three ministers went immediately to a meeting with governor Adnan Zurfi to discuss the situation at the airport, which has been shut down for several days” adding that “they [the ministers] are currently at a meeting over the same issue with the members of the province council.” Najaf’s province council chief Fayid Shemmeri announced Tuesday that a protest against the closure of the airport has been postponed after PM pledged to find a solution for the situation. Other sources stressed that the airport was shut down because of threats of an attack on the Imam Ali shrine using a civilian airliner. (READ MORE)

Sgt. Danger: Profile - Thacker - While Forrest Gump and his platoon patrol the paddies of Vietnam, he talks about the men in his platoon. "Now, I don’t know much about anything, but I think some of American’s best young men served in this war," he says. Damn right. Some call the young man pictured above ‘Redneck‘ or ‘Hillbilly‘ because he can’t wait to get home to go mudding and shooting. Some call him ‘The Kid‘ because he’s just twenty years old. Others call him ‘Geardo’ because if you can attach something to body armor or to a weapon, this kid’s done it. Most of us just call him ‘Thacker’. Thacker grew up in a small country town in Washington. "I wouldn’t have had it any other way." he says. "Everyone was always willin’ to help you if you needed it." Just over a thousand people and a half-mile square, it was the kind of town where "everyone knows everyone, and you can always go shootin’ or campin’. Just drive up in the hills and have some fun whenever you want to." (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: US strike kills 4 in Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan - Unmanned US strike aircraft have hit the Taliban in North Waziristan for the second time in three days, after a nearly two-week lull in attacks. The unmanned Predators or Reapers fired two Hellfire missiles at a car in the village of Ambor Shaga near Miramshah. "Four militants were killed in the missile strike," a Pakistani intelligence official told AFP. Three other militants were reported to have been wounded. The Taliban fighters had pulled the car over to pray, according to a report in The Associated Press. No senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed in the airstrike. Today's airstrike took place in a region administered by North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar. Al Qaeda and allied Pakistani and Central Asian jihadi groups shelter in Bahadar's tribal areas, and they also run training camps and safe houses in the region. (READ MORE)

Loving A Soldier Blog: Letting it out... - Hello ladies! Hope everyone is doing well. We've been busy lately! Time is flying by and I'm always left needing more of it! We have a little over two months before the hubby leaves and there is so much to cram into those two months. I don't even know where to begin! Things always have a way of working out though. I wanted to take my mind off of everything tonight so I thought it would be fun to share some facts about me with you all! I always love learning new things about people! Not that I'm an exciting person to learn new things about but here we go anyways! Feel free to share some things about yourselves also! 1. I used to play the violin. Actually, I still could if I wanted to but I haven't in a long time. It's sitting upstairs collecting dust. I started when I was in 5th grade. I think I stopped shortly after I had my 1st kid. (READ MORE)

Mike Francis, The Oregonian: A crescendo on suicide - One hyperlocal reason to think about military suicide is that Carol and Gen. Mark Graham will be in Portland Friday to serve as honorary chairs for the Oregon Partnership's annual fundraising dinner. (The Oregon Partnership is a terrific nonprofit that provides crisis intervention services over the phone, and has noticed an upsurge in calls from veterans and their family members. The Grahams lost two children who served. One son, Jeff, was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb. Another, Kevin, took his life while he was still in ROTC in college. Gen. Graham was serving in Korea when he got the word. “I knew Kevin was sad,” he said. “I didn’t know he could die from being too sad.” Tomorrow (Thursday), Wash. Sen. Patty Murray is going to grill VA Secretary Eric Shinseki about several things including the way the military is responding to high suicide rates. The occasion is a hearing by the Senate Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee. (READ MORE)

Ramblings from a painter: A Little More Cheer, Please - I walked out of my barracks this morning into a fabulously beautiful day. No dust at all, no wind, brilliantly blue sky, sparrows chirping, perfect short-sleeve temperatures. Wonderful way to start the workday! Strolled into the office and brewed up a pot of Peet's coffee. Checked my email and found a really nice thank-you note from the president of a company that just finished one of my projects. Looked on a couple of news sites and didn't see much in the way of mass stupidity. Saw a report that the Dow is just over 11,000 again, which is exactly where it was when I first arrived in Baghdad 18 months ago. (Heck, if I'd known that my presence in Iraq was what kept the Dow below 11,000, I'd have left a long time ago!) So things are going very well right now. I've been working for six months to get a number of new projects launched. The contract for one of them will be awarded within the next couple of days. (READ MORE)

LTC Rich Phillips: Sights and Sounds of Bagram Airbase - The sound of Bagram is jet noise, 24/7. All manner of aircraft come and go, all day and all night. There are many other sounds, but they are all routinely drowned out by the sound of jet engines. Sometimes even conversation between two people standing side by side is impossible for a few moments. The sights are quite varied; US Soldiers, Sailor, Airmen and Marines from around the world, Soldiers from many other nations and all manner of armored vehicles, various SUV and too many Toyota pickup trucks to count. And in the distance, mountains towering over 20,000 feet. Some of the streets are paved, some are gravel and some are just packed dirt. The "buildings" range from tents to containerized buildings to "B" huts to "brick and mortar" structures. An indoor, porcelain toilet is still a luxury. Most residents of Bagram live in a tent (with about 100 of their closest friends) or in one of our infamous "B" huts, which is basically a wooden shack housing from 4 to 8 persons. (READ MORE)

Army Blogger Wife: Deployment Question #6--Is there a wrong time to call? - Gunner is still at JRTC for the month, and he is working the night shift. He calls every night before he goes to work. Doesn't that sound great? Well, it doesn't work. Before I sound selfish, and all that crap, I have three kids that need to be fed and watered, bathed, read stories to, and cuddled before bed. He's gone for a month. A month! I know, I know, I read some blogs where they whine about one night apart being too many, but seriously, it's a month! We've survived 4 years apart, so one month, while not ideal, is not the end of the world after being married over 15 1/2 years. I tried to talk to him when he called, let him talk to the kids, and then he could listen to me make sure Abs wasn't flooding the bathroom, Junior wasn't off in the dog cage pooping, that dinner isn't burning, that Em isn't using all the hot water, no one is locking themselves in the bathroom, or cramming things down the heater....the list goes on.... (READ MORE)

270 Days in Afghanistan: The Medium Tactical Vehicle (International Truck) - Once "tip of the spear" combat operations were over here in Afghanistan, and the Taliban had been banished back to their caves in the mountains like goblins in a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, we started the exhaustive process of rebuilding the infrastructure of the country. Like so many undefined and unquantified projects, this has been a journey with almost no end in sight. The U.S. Army's efforts in this area have included the purchase of equipment for the Afghan National Army in the form of vehicles and weapon systems. One of those vehicles is the Medium Tactical Vehicle (Better known as "Internationals"). We purchased these trucks for the Afghan Army to replace their aging and mostly broken down fleet of cargo trucks so that we could help them improve their mobility and ability to supply their troops on the battlefield. A few years down the road, we started to find that the Afghans were doing a relatively poor job of maintaining these vehicles. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: So What Happened to Iraq? - Six years ago, the conventional wisdom was that Ayad Allawi, then prime minister of the appointed Iraqi Interim Government, was a puppet of the United States. Last month, though, the Allawi-led Iraqiya alliance won, by a narrow margin, more parliamentary seats than any other coalition in national elections — and he may become the country’s next prime minister. The secular Allawi successfully campaigned on the message of curbing religious interference in government — countering the often-argued charge that the U.S. has created a radical Islamic republic in Iraq. Indeed, as we look back at our years in Iraq, almost all of what once passed for conventional wisdom has been proven wrong. Yes, there is still terrorist violence in Iraq — especially recently as the leadership of the country’s next government remains in doubt. And, yes, there are still around 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Unambiguously Ambidextrous: This Is Why The Media Can’t Be Trusted To Cover Afghanistan - A CBC headline reads: Afghan detainees committee to hear from ex-envoy - No such “Afghan detainees committee” exists, and it never has. What exists is the “Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan”, and the purpose of its creation was to visit Afghanistan and report on what’s happening in the country to Parliament, and make recommendations to the House of Commons. Instead, it has been hijacked by the opposition to listen to one aspect of the mission, and a rather unimportant one at that. As such, neither our Parliament nor our people seem to know anything about what’s happening in Afghanistan, short of the allegation that people get tortured. Nor do they know what Canada’s future role there, if any, will be. I think this link pretty much sums up the failure of the “Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan” to do any actual studying of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Terry Glavin: Heads Should Roll - “I saw Canadian military intelligence sending detainees to the NDS when the detainees did not tell them what they expected to hear,” Mr. Malgarai told the special Commons committee on Afghanistan. “If the [Canadian] interrogator thought a detainee was lying, the military sent him to NDS for more questions, Afghan style. Translation: abuse and torture.” Effectively, he said, “the military used the NDS as subcontractors for abuse and torture.” Mr. Malgarai’s testimony is the most explosive to enter the long-running and divisive political debate about Canada’s conduct in Afghanistan since last November. . . .I'll say. "There is friction between Mr. Malgarai and the Canadian government," we are told. Fair enough. But Chief of the Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk insists: “I can assure all Canadians that we take all allegations seriously and will investigate new allegations appropriately.” (READ MORE)

Counter Insurgency Center: POPULATION CENTRIC COIN: ARE WE DOING IT? - The mistake that we make in dealing with different cultures from our own is that we mirror-image ourselves onto them. So, in essence, we look at their culture but see ourselves. As a result, we make plans and policies, which would work very well in Ontario or Ohio, but which often don’t work out in Helmund or Kunar. This causes us to get frustrated and we find ourselves discussing how things should be rather than how they actually are. COMISAF Gen McChrystal, in his 2009 COIN Guidance has clearly articulated that we are to carry out “Population Centric COIN.” There is not discussion or debate, this is the mission. Like all good soldiers we carry out the commander’s guidance and in Afghanistan the Coalition has been doing just that. But have they actually been successful in conducting population centric COIN or have they been blocked by a rural Afghan power structure that specializes in interposing itself between the people and any other entity that wants to usurp its position? (READ MORE)

UNA MOORE: Kabul Nightlife, Not All Bombs and Illegal Booze - War-zone nightlife stories have long been staples of foreign correspondence, and every wartime capital city produces them. Like their subject, they are a guilty pleasure of wartime journalism. They’re usually also a little — or a lot — sensational. Time’s John Moore (no relation) just published one such piece titled “Kabul Nightlife: Thriving Between Suicide Bombs.” Tellingly, it opens with the most extreme aspects of expatriate life in Kabul. Nightlife may seem like a luxury no one can afford in Kabul. The Afghan capital is hit by suicide bombers with depressing regularity, and on some nights expatriates receive word from their embassies that a suicide team is plotting to attack a “foreign guest house” — and these are the truly chilling words — “in your neighborhood.” On those occasions, you sleep with your clothes on and shoes beside the bed, after having mapped out an escape route over the wall into your (hopefully friendly) neighbor’s garden. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Censorship - Back when Dubya was fighting his “Global War on Terror”, the criticism was that you don’t make war on “terror” – that being a tactic – but upon those who would use that tactic. In World War II, by contrast, we didn’t wage a “Pacific War on Aircraft Carriers – we fought the Japanese. So we were forced to modify our language somewhat. Bush said that our struggle was not against Islam, which after all, is a faith that provides guidance and comfort to some 1.2 billion people, the vast majority of whom mean us no harm. So, before we turned the GWOT into a campaign against “man caused disasters”, we briefly experimented with a “struggle against violent extremism.” To put not too fine a touch on it, this was “religiously motivated” violent extremism, although for my own part I often wonder to what degree the faith is a casus belli and to what degree it is merely a political prop used to dupe halfwits and simpletons into blowing themselves up among crowds of children. (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: Pentagon to chase tail for Potok - The Pentagon is about to conduct a witch hunt for “extremists” based on information they were handed by the left wing extremist hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the organization of Grand Flea Eagle Arbiter of Hate Mark Potok. This according to Stars & Stripes; The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group in Montgomery, Ala., presented dozens of the user profiles to Congress and the Pentagon. The center estimates “thousands” of extremists serve in the ranks and has lobbied the Pentagon for three years to adopt clearer anti-hate measures and more vigorously pursue servicemembers known to be affiliating with hate groups. I wrote about those profiles which were dredged up by Wikileaks, of “Collateral Murder” fame. Of the emails I examined then, membership in the hate groups was questionable and SPLC didn’t bother to check to see if those claiming to be in the military were servicemembers at all. (READ MORE)


News from the Home Front:
More troops in Afghanistan than Iraq in June - This June, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will surpass U.S. troop levels in Iraq for the first time since 2003, marking what we in the media call a “milestone.” (READ MORE)

Civilian trial for 9/11 suspects not ruled out, Holder says - A civilian trial in New York for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his codefendants in the Sept. 11 terrorism case is still a possibility, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. told senators Wednesday. (READ MORE)

Army Releases March Suicide Data - The Army released suicide data today for the month of March. Among active-duty soldiers in March, there were 13 (11 active Army; one Army National Guard; one Army Reserves) potential suicides: one (active Army) has been confirmed as suicide, and 12 (10 active Army; one Army National Guard; one Army Reserves) remain under investigation. (READ MORE)



News from the Front:
Iraq:

Allawi's party courts Iranian support - The political coalition that won the most seats in Iraq's inconclusive parliamentary election last month says it won't let Iraq be used as a launching pad for any attacks on Iran. (READ MORE)

Two Baghdad assassinations raise fears of violent political vacuum - Two assassinations and a bombing in a busy central shopping street in Baghdad today killed at least four people and raised fears that an increasingly acrimonious political split is causing security problems. (READ MORE)

Iraq's Ayad Allawi warns of sectarian war, says U.S. must aid reconciliation - Former prime minister Ayad Allawi, whose bloc won the largest number of seats in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections, warned Wednesday that the country could slide into a sectarian war if his group is shut out of the next government… (READ MORE)

Security Forces Help Promote Iraqi Community Policing - Air Force security forces executed a presence patrol, April 4, in order to increase proficiency in the Iraqi police and increase the community's confidence in the them and the government of Iraq. (READ MORE)

Training a Friendly Force of Iraqi Police - A series of shops spanning multiple blocks in Jalula, Iraq, are visited by thousands of patrons each day looking for items ranging from fresh fish to new clothing styles. (READ MORE)

Deployed Couple Says 'I Do' – Again - Wedding bells may have been ringing at Contingency Operating Location Q-West's Liberty Chapel, but this was not a typical wedding ceremony. (READ MORE)


Afghanistan:
Military airstrike killed 45 civilians, Pakistan admits - Pakistan acknowledged yesterday that at least 45 civilians were killed in an airstrike in the Khyber tribal region, an admission that could undermine the military’s anti-Taleban campaign in the country’s northwest region. (READ MORE)

Karzai Brother Mends Ties With US - He's the consummate symbol of Afghan cronyism -- the president's wheeler-dealer half brother and main power broker in the Taliban-ridden south. (READ MORE)

Servicemembers teach Afghans the ways of small-town government - Before deploying with his battalion to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. David Fivecoat did something unusual to prepare his men. He took his company commanders to a city council meeting in Clarksville, Tenn., across the border from their base at Fort Campbell, Ky., to “see the workings of small-town government.” (READ MORE)

Car Bomb Hits Hotel in Southern Afghanistan - A car bomb exploded outside hotel in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar Thursday afternoon, injuring at least six people, while fighting in the north of the country left four German troops dead, officials said. (READ MORE)

U.S. doubles anti-Taliban special forces - The Pentagon has increased its use of the military's most elite special operations teams in Afghanistan, more than doubling the number of the highly trained teams assigned to hunt down Taliban leaders, according to senior officials. (READ MORE)

American troops pull out of Korengal Valley as strategy shifts - American troops have withdrawn from a notorious valley in eastern Afghanistan that has seen some of the worst fighting of the war, with commanders citing a shift in strategy. (READ MORE)

U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder - It was as if the five years of almost ceaseless firefights and ambushes had been a misunderstanding -- a tragic, bloody misunderstanding. (READ MORE)

ISAF Commander Patrols with Czech PRT - International Security Assistance Force Commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal visited Forward Operating Base Shank to meet with members of the Logar Provincial Reconstruction Team from the Czech Republic, April 9. (READ MORE)

Farah Governor & ISAF Forces Celebrate the Opening of a Refurbished Orphanage - Farah Provincial Gov. Rahool Amin and ISAF forces joined together to celebrate the opening of the refurbished Farah City Orphanage, April 11, in Farah, Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Soldiers Aid People of Gormach - Dozens of piles of gravel lay in downtown Gormach untouched since construction came to a halt months ago. Crumbling to the ground are local shops amid dusty streets where vendors offer basic items including bicycle parts and naan, the local flat bread. (READ MORE)

Soldiers' Morale on Camp Spann - If you look beyond the dusty rocks and buildings there's a picturesque view of mountains almost every morning and clouds that hang like drapes. This is the scene at Camp Mike Spann where 1st Brigade Combat Team is setting up its headquarters in Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Deployed Dragon Lady Swoops in Low for a Closer Look at Counterinsurgency - In J.K. Rowling's fantasy novels about the adolescent Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Coat of Arms is emblazoned with the Latin term, "Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus," which translated; means "never tickle a sleeping dragon." (READ MORE)

IJC Operational Update, April 15 - A Taliban improvised explosive device expert and two other militants were captured by an Afghan-international security force in Nangarhar last night. (READ MORE)

Marines pay Afghan farmers to destroy opium - With heavy fighting in the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah now largely reduced to sporadic gunfights, U.S. Marines in the area have turned their focus toward eliminating the insurgents' cash source: opium. (READ MORE)

Taliban claim victory after US leaves 'Valley of Death' - Taliban militants on Thursday claimed victory after the U.S. military withdrew this week from a rebel-infested area in eastern Afghanistan that became known as the "Valley of Death". (READ MORE)

Civilian bomb injuries soar in south Afghanistan - Civilian injuries due to roadside bombs and other explosives in southern Afghanistan have soared amid worsening Taliban violence, the International Committee for the Red Cross said in a report Thursday. (READ MORE)

US signals new pragmatism with Afghanistan's Karzai - US lawmakers and officials are signaling a new pragmatic approach to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, seeing no choice but to cooperate quietly with him despite misgivings about his rule. (READ MORE)

UK parties criticized for ignoring Afghan war in election campaigns - A distinguished peace activist has criticized British political parties for ignoring the issue of the war in Afghanistan in their election campaigns, saying it is a “complete betrayal of public opinion” which is against the war. (READ MORE)

A Tale of Soldiers and a School - The Pir Mohammed School was built by Canadians in 2005, in Senjaray, a town just outside the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It is said that 3,000 students attended, including some girls — although that seems a bit of a stretch, given the size and rudimentary nature of the campus. (READ MORE)

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Cross posted at Castle Argghhh!

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