My training continues again this week, in preparation for Afghanistan. I should have my boots on the ground in another fortnight of sols(Check out this blog entry for an explanation of Sols). We had training on the big vehicles a few days ago, including the newer models designed to disperse IED blasts coming from below. Pretty brilliant equipment, with lots of goodies specially designed during the last 11 years of operations in Afghanistan.
Quick jump, I say operations in Afghanistan not war, because as I am learning, the conflict in Afghanistan is really not a war in most ways an average american thinks of war. Counter Insurgency Operations is as much about diplomacy with locals as it is about sending in helicopters to light up a target. There are no trenches with enemies on the other sides shooting back. There are bands of rebels in the mountains and allied villages causing trouble throughout a land ( I hesitate to call it a nation as the tribal structure of the Afghan way of life really doesn’t lend itself to the nation-state model well) and inciting distrust in a central government that seems more like a city-state in the Grecian sense trying to build some sort of modern country out of a confederation of tribes. Westerners just cant understand the tribal way of thought. We are too far removed, I think from those times.
On a separate note, I’m really getting into the Arduino/Maker culture, when it comes to learning computer science and electronics engineering. Horay, for self teaching another advanced topic! Who needs teachers when you have rabid desire for the absorption of knowledge. Self Actualization is awesome.
Song of the day is “Fn Pig” by Deadmau5