Battleland

Snapshots From Afghanistan…

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Army photo by Sgt. Canaan Radcliffe

An Afghan woman speaks with a Human Terrain Team from the U.S. Army

You can listen to generals testifying before Congress all you want – and chat with troops in, or just back, from Afghanistan – but nothing gives you a sense of how things are going as does listening to the folks the U.S. is trying to help there.

That’s why the work of the Army’s controversial Human Terrain Teams (where do they come with these names?) gives us an interesting peek into the hearts-and-minds battle being waged in our name. Here are some excerpts from a 2011 112-page HTT report (h/t Public Intelligence) from northern Afghanistan:

On corruption:




…and more corruption:




…and yet more corruption, including among the Arbakai, local militias that are supposed to offer security:




…on corruption…and the Taliban:




…on local security:




…on the downside of the Arbakai:




…and how the Arbakai (sometimes known as Local Defense Forces, or LDF) change when night comes, meaning they need to be replaced with Afghan National Army or Afghan Uniform Police forces:




…how one Taliban tried to escape:




…how female Afghan National Police officers say they are treated compared to their male colleagues:




…how the promotion system works in the Afghan National Police:




…how the Afghan police are fed:




…and evidence of how the alleged killer of a pair of U.S. troops, an Afghan border policeman, is recalled:

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