Five reports given, meeting, formation in the morning, meeting late morning, Salim gone, Bernie's video teleconference, military decision-making process, weather, communications major maintenance shop up and running.
Yesterday morning the ANA had a slew of meeting/formations/etc. in the early afternoon at 1400 they had a VTC. Salim left yesterday because the made-up doctor here (he’s really trained as a hospital administrator, not as a doctor, but he thinks he knows what he’s doing) told him that the pain in his stomach was from kidney problems and that he would have to go to a higher echelon of care.
I fought the battle of the inbox most of the morning. The Major had me write yet another report on HUMINT source funding in the ANA. I’ve already written four versions of it. The Corps Mentor team refuses to believe that the money is being stolen. They still believe that their Afghans are honorable men serving the country and that there may be guys around who steal, but they are the exception. Everything that I have observed points to systemic corruption within the ANA. They are trying to say that we are the only brigade that is having trouble with this, but when I speak to the other brigade mentors, they aren’t even involved. They have no idea what the forms are, how the system works. The Brits are willfully ignorant. They simply don’t want to know the answers to these questions because they don’t want to get distracted. I can understand that. Anyway, it is kind of frustrating because I have provided the same evidence again and again, and they don’t want to believe it, or if they do believe it, they are only going to look into this brigade. Oh well.
I spoke to Maj Tawoos in the afternoon and he told me that he needed two things from me. The number of insurgent cells in each of the districts and the population of each district. I asked him what he needed this information for, and he said a planning meeting the next day. I explained to him the planning process, all four steps of the MDMP, and he acted like he knew it once I was finished explaining it. I further explained that the information he requested was not going to help them in the planning process at all, if that is in fact what they are doing. He wants me to give him the answer and doesn’t yet understand that my role is not to give him the answer, but to show him how to find the answer by himself. I am not here to breed dependency. He seems to think that my job is to work on the thinks that he can’t or won’t do, when my real job is to show him how to do the things that he can’t or won’t do. I found a good halfway house, I think. I told him that I would find the population numbers that he was looking for, and then he could bounce his results off of me and I could tell him if it lined up with reality. I also told him that I would not find the number of insurgent groups in the AOs because that A) doesn’t make sense (the threshold for being an insurgent/collaborator/etc is really the key here since most people cooperate with the TB to some degree at some time) and B) is never going to help them in the planning process. He said he knew how to do link analysis and how to get the info and he would bounce his info off of mine. We’ll see. He also protested saying that his job was not to learn, but to operate now. Sigh.
After his VTC we came back and I taught him how to do the weather. He is basically computer illiterate, so we had to walk him through every step. Copying, pasting, typing, everything. He was very happy to learn that. Well, that’s progress, I guess.
Comm has their maintenance shop up and running the mentors basically built the entire thing (the insisted that the Afghans build two measly wooden benches), but the Afghan CommO is too lazy to build a list of what needs to be fixed.