Kandahar, 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