Free Range International

All Clear

At 0630 this morning, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the form of the Kabul Critical Response Unit (CRU) finished off a crew of villains who had been fighting for the past 16 hours. These guys, most likely HIG militants, had barricaded themselves in a building under construction next to the Azizi Bank located on […]

Storm Warning

America is currently experiencing some monster tornadoes deep in the heartland.  As dawn breaks across my homeland the scenes of devastation are dramatic but the casualties so far remarkably low. When a sudden serious storm breaks in Kabul it’s a tornado of steal and there is one unwinding now in Kabul right down the street […]

Operation Magistral

There was an article on Afghanistan last week that got my immediate attention.  The article had a one day life cycle and I have not seen any follow ups which, given the content, is surprising.   I am not referring to the change in  night raid policy – I couldn’t care less about night raids […]

Return to Kabul

Kabul is currently a tense place. It has had periods of unrest many times in the past (the 2006 riots that erupted after American soldiers caused a multi-fatality motor vehicle accident springs instantly to mind) but Kabul isn’t experiencing unrest – it’s tense like a tight spring. The endgame is near, internationals are no longer […]

A New Strategy!

President Obama has released his new plan for the military which I agree with but not for his stated reasons for developing a new strategy. First allow me to present ten years of NATO in Afghanistan in three pictures:     There it is; Afghanistan is toast, and what the last 10 years has taught […]

EFP’s

After the ceremonies described in the last three posts we had one more task to complete before we went home. In the ANSF after action report on the ambush of Haji Nematullah, they reported seizing three large buckets of Home Made Explosives (HME) and three “milled metal devices with explosives inside”. We had no idea […]

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

While we were occupied in Zaranj our esteemed Secretary of State declared we were switching tactics. The new tactic will be “Fight, Talk, Build” and if you have no idea what those words could possibly mean welcome to the club. “Fight, Hold, Build”  I could understand, but the Fight, Talk part – that is a […]

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 […]

Free Ranging Balochistan

I’m back in my compound after attending a bunch of ceremonies in Zaranj marking the end of our efforts in Nimroz Province.  When we flew in last week the skies were dark and it rained that night.  The next morning was clear as a bell making for excellent photography and perfect weather for what turned […]

Diplomacy 101

I am in the middle of an interesting few days as we finish up our larger projectsvwith official ceremonies.  Those of you who follow Michael Yon on facebook know where I am and what we have been up to.  What is interesting to watch is Michael, myself and our friend (and co-worker) Chadd Nyerges, trying […]