Free Range International


Last week I received and polite email from Professor Richard Macrory of the Centre for Law and the Environment, University College London asking me for permission to use some of my photos of the Gandamak battlefield in his upcoming book on the First Afghan War. I said that it would be an honor and I believe the book will […]

Sanctuary Denied?

Last week I received and heads up from Mullah John that General Allen and Ambassador Crocker were on 60 Minutes and was able to watch the show on AFN.  The one thing I noticed when watching General Allen was the emotion clearly evident as he discussed the truck bomb has had asked the Pakistani military […]

Poppy Time

It is Saturday, the 9th of April here in the sunny paradise of Afghanistan and both Kandahar and Kabul are in a UN declared “White City” status as the locals brace for another round of anti-American protests in response to the Koran burning in Florida.  I’m in Kandahar where all is quiet after Thursday’s  spectacular […]

What A Mess

I’m not referring to the controversy surrounding the attempted rescue of Linda Norgrove which is currently consuming the news cycle. My experience is that Special Operations folks do not attempt rescue operations without solid intelligence and a well rehearsed plan. I don’t know what happened in Kunar Province last weekend and therefore have no comment. […]

Five Hundred Meter War

Herschel Smith at the Captains Journal has put up a great post which addresses a topic near and dear to my heart; infantry tactics. The post is The Five Hundred Meter War  and I want to reinforce Herschel’s point with some observations. The tactical argument being raised by Herschel is the alarming trend of engaging in […]

A New Way Forward?

We were under UN restricted movement routine last week (for the first time in five years) which provided the opportunity to digest a report from The Afghanistan Study Group entitled A New Way Forward. This report was great news for me because if think tanks are paying big bucks to people who write so poorly […]

Rocky Road

As the summer started I was optimistic that we would see indications that we are gaining ground in Afghanistan but that has not happened. Incident rates are skyrocketing which is not a bad thing if it is our side initiating the incidents but this too is not the case. While ISAF is conducting more raids […]

The Dog Days of Summer

I am overdue on updating all of you on local atmospherics in the rapidly destabilizing Nangarhar Province. I also recently did another episode of The Aloyna Show where I took a SWAG at who I think is responsible for the murders of the international medical team headed by Dan Terry and Tom Little – the […]

Getting After It

One of the Chim Chim’s dropped in for a visit last month.  He was on some sort of ISAF  inspection team which I didn’t ask too much about and told us that every-time he asked officers from the unit he was looking at what they were doing the reply was “getting after it.” They were […]

Losing Hearts and Minds

Ben Arnoldy at the Christen Science Monitor penned an excellent tale on reconstruction efforts going pear shaped and the consequences resulting from such folly.  It is good reporting from one of the truly professional foreign correspondents working the country today. The report was original, focused and resulted from Ben going to the remote Badakshan Province […]