The tragi-comedy of errors UN-NATO military efforts in Afghanistan is a minefield of amateurish gaffs and cock-ups.
What's wrong with this photo?
Aside from the obvious - winning confidence and trust whilst still wearing ballistic protection and sporting the latest automatic weapon might have the opposite desired outcome - just take a closer look at these bozos (the ones in camouflage, not the local fellows). They are obviously guests. Now look at the local fellows: You will note that the local fellows have bare feet. This is customary in Muslim communities; entering someone's home (or the mosque) one takes his/her shoes off. We are talking entry-level cultural sensitivity here; even this very elementary of cross-cultural behaviours, the US-NATO cannot manage to get right.
And I am quite certain that there are rules and SOPs about wearing your ballistic vest at all times, keeping your weapon by your side, and never taking your shoes off; but, are these troops here to win a war or comply with procedures?
Another doozie is the following quote from Colonel Randy George (of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division):
“We’re not worried about corruption in itself, but we are worried about governance.”
I can't decide if the tautology and gross misapprehension embodied in this statement is deliciously amusing or vaguely terrifying. Perhaps it's both!
WTF Friday, 11/17/2017
5 hours ago