Showdown With The Afghan National Army

Afghan National ArmyOur convoy was screaming down the road, traffic got out of our way in a hurry, as most would when multiple multi-ton armed vehicles packed full of pissed off soldiers are in their rearview mirror. We shouldn’t have even been out in sector this night, mostly because we got back from another patrol only a few hours prior, and it was the other squads turn to roll out but there we were.

The Afghan National Army had received a tip from a kid saying his dad was Taliban, and that he had weapons in his house somehow this got sent to us. We never work with the Afghan Army, we work with the Afghan Police. The area they got the tip from wasn’t even in my company’s battle space but again, there we were.

Everyone in the trucks were bitching and complaining, my Team Leader kept saying the whole thing was a trap, my driver kept saying we were all going to die. I just sat in the back seat and tried not to fall asleep.

We pulled into the District Center, were the Afghan Army and their embedded US trainers lived. Our squad leader got out of the truck and went inside to try to figure out what was going on, everyone in the trucks got out stretched their legs and lit cigarettes.

My driver kept spitting nasty dark brown wads of tobacco spit all over the place and pissing in the dirt next to our truck, also known as where other people lived in full view of the US trainers and ANA soldiers. No one told him to stop. No one ever tells anyone in our squad to stop, I think they see our level of disturbance and anger and let us do our thing.

We were sitting there for a few hours we all got bored so I tried dipping some of my driver’s Copenhagen and had to spit it out quickly as I almost vomited all over myself. Thankfully our squad leader emerged from the planning room looking angry as hell stomping back over to the trucks.

“Stupid fucks don’t know where the house is” he snarled, “We have to follow the Afghans”. This idea was a hundred times worse then it sounded at the time. Like I said before we weren’t going to be working in a area that we really knew, and we were going to let a bunch of Afghan soldiers bring us into the unknown. Also the Afghans didn’t know where the house was either, they had the kid.

The one that was trying to turn his dad in, in one of their trucks and he was telling them where to go.  We didn’t bother pointing out the terrible flaws in this plan as it obviously wasn’t our idea; we just cursed and got back in our trucks.

We traveled down the main drag in our part of town, squeezing in between cars, horses, donkeys, and food carts, probably hitting a few in the process. People threw rocks at us; they bounced uselessly off the side of our armored behemoth of a truck. Old men franticly pushed their carts out of the way as we tore down the road, the Afghan Army pickup truck in the lead didn’t seem to care about the chaos we were causing as we drove, they were riding in a tiny Ford Ranger going about sixty randomly pointing their weapons at people who wandered too close to their truck.

They hooked a right down a shitty dirt road, one we knew was the boundary to our battle space.It is true that all US Army vehicles have GPS maps in them, but all of ours had been broken since day one in the country and had never been fixed. And this being the twenty-first century Army, no one had brought a paper map. We just shut up and followed the Afghans.

The dirt road got smaller and smaller, the rickety buildings with their obvious lack of any building code or standard started encroaching on the shitty track of dirt we were driving on. We parked our trucks which at this point almost touched the buildings on each side of the road. We left our gunners in the truck to make sure no one messed with them and dismounted.

Though I was a gunner at the time my team leader told me to come with him. As the building next to my truck was too tall to see over, therefore I was staring directly at a wall and my mounted weapon was as useless as the plan we were currently executing.

We walked down the street about another hundred meters and the kid stopped at a house, the Afghan Army soldiers went in first and found the whole thing empty. I got stuck outside the house with another soldier to make sure no one tried to get into the house while the rest of our guys were inside.

It turns out the cache the kid was talking about were buried inside his Dad’s compound. Meaning underneath five feet of dirt and cement. Thankfully Afghan cement isn’t what you would think of; most contracting companies in Afghanistan are seriously corrupt and skimp on actual cement mix. Mixing it with about 90% dirt and sprinkling real cement mix on top to give it the right color before building.

So we could feasible still dig through it. Now being Americans we weren’t going to do this labor ourselves, so we gave a pickaxe to the nearest Afghan Soldier and pointed to the ground. Unfortunately the Afghans couldn’t do it all on their own, so two of our soldiers jumped in the small hole the ANA made and started digging. Before long they had a hole that was several feet deep but had nothing to show for it.

We were getting ready to quit when a old woman wearing a off white dress and head cover, her face looked like old leather and she only had one visible tooth that jutted stubbornly from her bottom jaw came out of a back room we had apparently forgotten to search.

She started pointing franticly at a different spot, a spot inside the damn house. Our interpreter Hamid, said she was trying to tell us we were digging in the wrong spot that the cache was in the house, under the foundation.

Afghan soldiers chipped away slowly at the foundation of the house. Only making a little progress, we again sat down and did nothing while they worked. Before long they quit and our guys took their turn chipping away at the cement until a sizable hole started being formed. That’s when our squad leader saw plastic bags embedded in the dirt at the bottom.

He reached in and pulled them out; inside we found what we came for.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” He cursed, inside the bag was a landmine, a few grenade bodies, and four grenade fuses, and it looked old as hell.

“I dug into a god damn house for that?” One of the soldiers said sitting down in his hole. Even the Afghans looked disappointed. Our squad leader lined up the weapons on the ground to get a picture of them for the paperwork we were going to have to do later. He told Hamid to tell the Afghans that we were going to call EOD (explosive Ordinance Disposal) so they could come out here and either blow up the weapons, or take them away. The ANA did not like this idea.

The officer in charge of the Afghan platoon out with us rejected any idea of EOD coming out. He said they were going to bring the weapons in to the District Center. Our squad leader told him that we were in charge of the scene, and EOD was going to come out, end of story.

Then our squad leader sent me and another soldier out to the street to start evacuating the surrounding houses. In case of the off chance something exploded we didn’t want any civilians to be killed, that would make us look bad.

He and I knocked on the next house over, the scrap metal door rattled on its badly made hinges. The group of Afghan soldiers outside immediately stepped forward and yelled at us, as our Pashto is as good as our French, we didn’t understand a single damn word they were saying. Our squad leader gave us an order so we knocked again. This time a lot harder.

Then all hell broke loose.

Something that sounded oddly like metal sliding against metal filled the air. Then a distinct clack, The Afghan soldiers across from He and I had locked and loaded their weapons. All of the Afghan soldiers around had done the same thing, they were all facing us.

Our weapons were already loaded. My M249 Machine Gun, two-hundred rounds of belt fed, armor piercing anger was at my shoulder and pointing at the Afghans before I even thought about it.

“Drop it mother fucker!” I screamed, another soldier was on one knee to my side.

“Gun!” He was screaming “Sergeant! They are drawing on us out here!” the sound of racking rifles was all around us. Afghans came running in at all angles, the six of us were badly out numbered. From inside the compound the angry, thick accented voice of one of my squad mate screamed out

“Get your fucking hands off me you faggot!” Inside an Afghan soldier had walked down a flight of stairs behind him and grabbed onto his shoulder, spinning him around. He had his rifle in the soldier’s face in seconds.

Our squad leader had his rifle to the chest of the Afghan commander. Half screaming at him, half screaming at our interpreter. My team leader loaded a grenade into his launcher, pointing it at the nearest Afghan pickup truck. Its mounted weapon was pointed down the street towards us.

“What the fuck! They are taking positions around us! Get behind some cover!” My team leader yelled out, and that’s when I noticed it. The Afghan soldiers, using the ten years of training we had given them had taken up positions all around us. On the roof tops, in the alleys, everywhere, we were well and truly fucked.

“Get ready fella’s!” The squad leader was yelling out, the whole scene was one side screaming English and the other screaming Pashto. Our squad leader had contacted our camp telling them the situation. He was requesting back up immediately. Camp told us to secure the weapons, fuck the Afghans. “This cache is nothing! People are about to fucking die!” He screamed into his radio.

The empty static coming through the radio told me he had finally beaten home the seriousness of the situation to our superiors. While we were waiting for them to make a decision our back up arrived in the form of a very pissed off Platoon Sergeant and our entire sister platoon. Third Platoon’s Platoon Sergeant stomped into the scene. Sawn off shot gun in hand, with about twenty soldiers behind him and took charge of the scene and started laying into the Afghan commander.

After only a few minutes the angry screaming from the shot gun wielding mad man scared the shit out of the Afghan commander. His entire force stood down and retreated back to their trucks. It was around this time after we had almost been dead for about ten minutes, that our camp called back and told us to just give the Afghans the weapons.

A lone Afghan Soldier ran past all of us to pick up the meager cache and ran back to his buddies. We thanked third platoon for possibly saving our lives and slowly went back to our trucks, knowing the kind of people the Afghans were we didn’t put it past them to set up an ambush for us on the way back. Thankfully they didn’t, we all climbed back in our trucks and drove back to our camp, we were hungry, tired, and very pissed off.

We made it back to Camp Grizzly some time passed midnight and found that our platoon sergeant had made us dinner. We sucked down the food without chewing and explained to him what had happened. Before long I shuffled back to my tent and collapsed into my cot for a few hours of sleep.

17 Comments on "Showdown With The Afghan National Army"

  1. Well. Shit.

  2. Irish Potato Gun | Apr 8, 2012 at 12:53 am |


  3. The moral of the story is:
    don’t volunteer to invade other peoples countries.

  4. Good Read.

  5. IF this is true I have to give credit to the soldier who has the balls to publish his story.   I have to remind the veterans that there are people in America who care about the shit they go through every day. .. because these wars have been silenced. 

    • Bigjmp04 | Apr 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

      IF…….hahahahaha…..I was there brother……I thought I was going to lose a Soldier that day…..The guys practiced tactical patience and came home proud of them

      • you shouldnt have even fuckin been there. imagine if a bunch of muck mucks were runnin around america tearin shit up. we would have killed all of them in a heartbeat. im surprised they didnt all unload on your ass

    • Hooligan | Apr 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

       There is really no ‘balls’ involved. Its a 100% true story documented on paper. Nothing that occurred is secret in nature. Even the fact that the Afghan Army turns on ISAF is a well known fact these days. This is really just another day at the office.

  6. I love how this soldier blames the Afghans for not wanting Americans invading their country and killing their men, women and children…. What did Afghanistan ever do to America?    And if somebody out there says “Afghanistan did 9/11”  well then, you belong in the US Army, because they need as many brain dead USEFUL IDIOTS as they can get!  If any of you really believe you’re “protecting America” and “protecting FREEDOM”  I suggest you call home and ask you fellow countrymen how the USA is doing, these days!

    • Sounds like someone couldn’t hack it in basic. There’s always the Police Academy tubby.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I needed a good laugh.   The average soldier ain’t shit, buddy… and the average cop is a fucking c- student with a powertrip complex.    If somebody invaded my country and was killing my women and children, I wouldn’t hesitate to take up arms to PROTECT MY COUNTRY.  However, enlisting because you’re not smart enough to support your self, being manipulated and used over seas to murder innocent women in children in THEIR country…(The reality for 95% of the military)  that’s not something to be proud of…. hence the highest level of suicide in the military since… ever!   Some people have a tough time living with the memories of slaughtering innocent children so the CIA can keep harvesting heroin from the poppy fields!  Suicide is the cowards way out… more soldiers than ever are proving to be cowards… First, because they didn’t have the BALLS to disobey illegal and immoral orders  Second, because they didn’t have the BALLS to live with the choices they made.

        America is the laughing stock of the entire world.  A nation in terminal decline.  You allowed an NON citizen to gain control of your highest office and wage wars based on his say so.  You have allowed your government to circumvent your entire bill of rights, while the banking class robs EVERYTHING from the people right in front of their faces.  Your economy, housing market are in the shitter and will NOT get better within the next coming years… meanwhile you brainwashed fools grab your pom poms and cheerlead for an unwinnable, war in Afghanistan with no real reason for being there, and no clear objective except wasting TRILLIONS of dollars your country doesn’t have!

        but here you go trying to play the tough guy American exceptionalism card.  Where’s your American flag now?  you know the one with Obama’s face where the stars should be.  You’re one of those morons that believes everything the government tells you like how Robert Bales, snuck off base twice, murdered 17 people in two separate villages and then stacked and burned the bodies…. ALLL BY HIMSELF!    This is the kind of bullshit you are fed, and you eat it up like an American eats Mcdonalds.Finally…. tubby?    Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m in great shape, and extremely successful.  I’m intelligent and assertive enough to live healthy and work for myself! not put  my life on the line to be somebody else’s bitch for a phony cause!  Oh America… how far you’ve fallen. 

        • Sounds like someone couldn’t hack it in basic. There’s always the Police Academy tubby.

        • Chuang34 | Apr 9, 2012 at 3:26 am |

          The average soldier is representative of the average American, with a side of aggression. I don’t subscribe to the idea that we’re here “protecting your freedom”, because that part of the war ended after the invasion that ousted the Taliban. This is a mission of occupation, pure and simple, but the reason for the occupation is well meaning. The US really does “intend” to strengthen the Afghan infrastructure and government enough to a point that it can sustain itself after the US leaves this country. It’s going about it all wrong, but you cannot doubt the US government’s good intentions. However, the politicians that not only make it logistically possible for us to be here, but also putting out the order that we are to carry out their faulty plan, are ELECTED OFFICIALS. Sounds like to me that you are placing the blame for the death of innocents on the wrong shoulders.

          With very few exceptions (just as in the civilian sector, there are a bunch of crazies) the service members that are here in country are professionals with big guns, with the discipline and superhuman restraint that you will never have. If you’re using the sad story of SSG Bales as an example that all soldiers are psychopathic civilian killers, then isn’t that paint brush painting too broad a stroke? By the way, speculating about black ops is like speculating about the dark side of the moon. If the CIA is any good at what they do (and they are) there’s no way that you’ll (and I do mean a walking, talking mouthbreather like you) ever find out the truth about what they’re doing, so I ask you, where did you get the information that they’re “harvesting heroin” from? Also, why the FUCK would the US harvest poppy fields 10,000+ kilometers away when there are much better options closer by (South America, anyone?).

          I wouldn’t go as far to say America is the laughing stock of the world, but I would agree that it’s a nation in decline, at the moment. Barack Hussein Obama has already released both his short and long form birth certificates (at the behest of crazy Republicans who have never requested that a President elect prove his citizenship before in the past, but then again we’ve never had a half black President) which prove that he was in fact born in Hawaii. Perhaps you remember the hullabaloo a few months ago when Donald Trump was a potential candidate for the Republican primary, publicly proclaimed that President Obama was not a citizen and would not release his long form birth certificate and then shortly afterwards had to drop out of the primary race when President Obama DID release that birth certificate. Embarassing.

          Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Yes, but that debate would warrant an entire other entry all by itself, so I’ll just touch upon it lightly here. The government is doing it wrong.

          I can agree with the latter half of the last sentence of your second paragraph, but not the first. This war IS unwinnable, the reasons we’ve been given for being here are flimsy at best, and the objective for this war is DEFINITELY not clear (“helping the Afghan people”? It doesn’t get more vague than that). This war IS wasting TRILLIONS of dollars and it honestly should’ve ended years ago, right after the invasion when we forced the Taliban into retreating into the mountains. HOWEVER, we aren’t (all) brainwashed nor are we cheerleading for this war. Most of the enlisted soldiers I know, when it comes down to it, absolutely do not agree with the US being in this country. Hell, not even the officers that I know that are supposed to have the answers, can give me a good no-bullshit assessment of what the fuck we’re doing here. But nevertheless, we are soldiers and we follow orders. It’s our job. I assure you we aren’t following them blindly. We know perfectly well that we can disobey unlawful or immoral orders, however our orders are all legal, even if sometimes they border on the fringe of the law, and morality stands by no one man’s measuring stick. What’s immoral to you may not be immoral to me nor anyone else. So we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. We have no good reason for being here, but we can’t disobey lawful and moral orders. Like I said, discipline and superhuman restraint…

          You, ofcourse, are the unquestionable authority on whether or not it’s possible for a single soldier to sneak off a forward operating base, seeing as how you’ve been deployed in so many warz… oh wait. SSG Bales’ fob is very closeby to where I am now, and if it’s anything like mine, as long as you know where in the shadows to walk and hide, you can sneak off easily. And if you’re questioning how it can be physically possible for one man to kill and burn 17 people in 2 separate (but nearby) villages, well you have the awesome efficiency of US military armaments and ammunitions for that. An M4 rifle weighs 7 pounds, assuming he brought along an additional mag or 2, a set of night vision goggles, and a few incendiary grenades, his combat load would be no more than 25 pounds. That’s nothing for someone whose body armor alone weighs upward of 30+ pounds (trust me, I would know). Would it be easy to? No. Is it possible? Fuck yes. Everything else in your last paragraph is just ruffling your own feathers so I’ll ignore it.

          • first of all… Obama NEVER released his birth certificate.  he released a DIGITAL COPY of his long form birth certificate… .in other words, a COMPUTER GENERATED FAKE, that has been proven to be fake by Joe Arpaio’s investigation.   Secondly… if you believe that the election process isn’t tightly CONTROLLED…. then I’m sorry… you’re just completely asleep.      George Bush vs John Kerry… Bush wins after a “recount” by his own brother in Florida?! That’s very fortunate of him!   The election process is a fucking JOKE.   Democrat/Republican are the EXACT same shit!  Bush/Romney are both for perpetual wars, bank bailouts, more public debt, patriot act/ndaa, OBAMACARE etc etc etc…. and Obama?  All the same stances on the important issues…. not to mention the top 5 donors for the republican and democratic parties are ALL banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanely, Wells Fargo, Citi, BOA   …. THE BANKERS own your politicians, your military, your media, and the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK. They use these institutions of CONTROL  to manipulate the USA into making them TRILLIONS while destroying America for the average citizen.  Just look at what’s going on in the USA today.  There is no silver lining… no light at the end of the tunnel… just a continued slide into an undeveloped FASCIST nation.

            as for the Robert Bales bullshit story….. Do you think all of the Afghan villagers would just stand by while Bales went house to house by himself  killing women and children, without putting a bullet in his head?   Would you allow a single Afghan soldier to go house to house in your neighbourhood killing your friends and family without anybody trying to stop him?  And then he even had the time to drag all of the bodies into a nice pile and burn them?   but I’m sure the villagers just ignored the huge bonfire of their loved ones freshly shot up bodies.   You are a fucking idiot!   It was 1 or 2 SQUADS of troops.  A revenge killing for an IED attack earlier in the week.      But nevermind the fact that western journalists have interviewed the Afghan villagers who all say the same thing.  There were SQUADS of trooops, and even a helicopter over head.

            You drink way too much propaganda kool-aid.  If the average American soldier had an IQ of over 100 and didn’t have the ability to CRITICALLY think “ordered” out of them…. then maybe there wouldn’t be the terminal decline we are witnessing in the USA.   Until you people wake up and realize that a SMALL GROUP of international bankers are manipulating you for their own benefit (at your expense)  you will wake up in a USA that the founding father’s would not even recognize.

            America was the GREATEST COUNTRY the world has ever seen.  Thanks to the lack of education. (education, not indoctrination of bullshit) the USA has been taken over from within. 

    • OGHooligan | Apr 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

      When were the Afghan people blamed for anything in this article? Both US and Afghan forces drew weapons on each other, and thanks to both sides restraint, no one died that day.

      • are you kidding me?  The USA shouldn’t be there in the first place!   You need to see the BIG picture.  Afghanistan is a sovereign nation.  Did it invade the USA? no.  Did it attack the USA?  no!     So what right does the USA have to send 100 000 troops to invade?  NO right.             If soldiers from any country in the world showed up on America’s doorstep we all know what would happen… but somehow you truly believe that it’s ok for you to send hundreds of thousands of troops and use unmanned drone strikes daily?   Fucking pathetic Americans. 

        USA mind your own business. you’re already a broke ass country with a crippled economy.  Look after the people in your OWN country before wasting trillions to kill people half way across the world.

  7. Redacted | Apr 9, 2012 at 1:30 am |

    Makes me glad both my tours were with the Kurds. You knew they would watch your back if you would just watch theirs. Made a beautiful arrangement as far as I’m concerned.

    In the meantime they were busy telling Arabs they didn’t want any of their shit, and not to come back. Or else.

    In hindsight we have failed the Kurds once again.

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