Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sometimes pride in your uniform, your job, your appearance is taken just a little far. This was not a joke, this was a real picture of his weapon.
This "jingled" weapon isn't that common, but decorating trucks, weapons, and other implements of war is an age-honored custom here in Afghanistan. I guess pink doesn't carry the same meaning here.
Another thing I have learned to love is the saying "There is NOW and NOT NOW." It's wonderfully zen, but not wonderful for getting things done. We mostly use this in terms of planning or the lack thereof. It doesn't necessarily apply to the Afghans.
We have many many many many many many many (many) chiefs out here. From many (times 50) countries. Each country brings political legitmacy with them - very important that - but also good ideas and political agendas and baggage. This makes getting things planned, resourced and executed challenging.
When putting a plan together, the different parties - coalition and Afghan - all bring different priorities to the table. Their national pride is often at stake. It is often misunderstood, out of place or ridiculous from our perspective. I am sure the policeman in the picture was just bringing a little pride to the formation.

1 comment:

  1. The young man's neighbors on both shoulders appear envious of the youngster's piece.