Author Archive | Joseph Kassabian

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.… Read the rest

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On Patrol With The Afghan National Police

PoliceKandahar, Afghanistan—High centered, surrounded on both sides by open air sewage ditches is a dusty Afghan Police Checkpoint. I mean ‘checkpoint’ only in the loosest of terms, as the Afghans put it together. A few sand bags here and there with a bright pink lawn chair in the center, the police stand totally unprotected.

If they ever did their job that is.

My squad’s patrol crawls by under the hot Kandahar sun, when they see us the Police jump up off their flamboyantly colored lawn chair and start searching random fields and anyone who is misfortunate enough to be close by. Their checkpoint commander rushes out and tries to look as professional as his ill-fitting uniform and bare feet allow him to look.

“Hello!” he calls out, trying to act like we are disturbing his work. Our interpreter walks over to him and starts small talk while the tired, sun burned soldiers spread out along nearby builds and canals to set up sectors of fire.… Read the rest

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