Sunday, October 22, 2006


I am developing a much more grounded and trusting relationship with the Afghan Colonel I advise. He is a good man with much to offer and yet he is paternal and self-effacing in our company. It is strange but jovial. He wants very much to do the right thing for the right reasons, but as a man of limited civilian education, he often defers to my recommendaitons rather than make them his own. It is an interesting position to be in.

We spoke at length about an upcoming possible visit to the Joint Military Readiness Center in Germany of several members of the Afghan staff. As we discussed it, the television in the Colonel's office played an old Tom and Jerry cartoon in the background. The mouse and the cat were wearing Lederhosen and the feathered caps of the Bavarian style.

It was a silent but strange curtain to the reality play that I was involved with: planning an international training event for senior officers to the European continent while sitting in a mid-century piece of Soviet-architecture at the base of the mountains that become the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, viewing American cartoons about Germany with Dari subtitles.

All of this while remaining focused on the task at hand: mentoring my counterpart in the late morning as it was the last week of Ramazan and training will stop in the afternoon.

Again, Lawrence's counsel pervades... "for it is their country."

-out here.


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