September 26, 2011

Stuck in Kabul

From Free Range International by babatim -
We are finishing up our projects and preparing to call it a war. This year has been our biggest success to date; operating in over 20 Provinces – all of them very kinetic and getting every project we started finished on schedule and on budget. I now routinely move in Ghost Team mode throughout the Southwest using a few tricks of the trade that I’ll write about in the future. The only way we do what we do is because our Afghan staff is awesome and the key positions in my region are held by men I’ve known for years. We are a “no trust and verify” type of operation; operating outside the wire is simple and cheap and so easy that as I look around me in Kabul at the billions wasted on life support, armored vehicles, idiot gun goons with no language skills or knowledge of the country – I become despondent. We have been successful where every other implementer has failed because we (the expat project managers) visit every project track all expenditures, use technology to GPS/time/date the photographs sent in daily by our monitoring crew and have been doing this for so long that we no longer have to haggle over cement or gravel or steel prices. We get that stuff for less than 50% of what ISAF pays for identical material. It is so easy to operate here that it’s stupid.

But who cares? Being successful here is irrelevant and probably raising expectations of the average citizen far above what is reasonable. Being right about how to operate with very little overhead, no security company to impede our operations and to directly implement projects in areas thought to be too unstable means nothing because the entire edifice on which our Afghanistan counterinsurgency campaign is based was built upon a foundation of lies.

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