Col. Johnson At The Outpost

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Col. Sheena Johnson, U.S. Army

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Col. Johnson reads to you from

THE OUTPOST

a tome told true by Jake Tapper:

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     Anayatullah then asked the elders, “Before the Americans came to Kamdesh, had you ever heard of a development project?”  Of course not, he said.  The insurgents were making no effort to build a stronger Afghanistan, whereas the United States was trying to help.  “So,” he announced, “we need to help the Americans.”  Two days before, insurgents had fired a PKM machine gun into the Camp Keating mosque, which was used primarily by the ANA soldiers and the outpost’s Afghan Security Guards.  Firing into a mosque?  “These are not Muslims,” Anayatullah declared, “they are terrorists.  If you help the bad guys, we will destroy you.  If the local people help the enemy fighters, they are not helping the government;  they are considered to be Al Qaeda.”  Others weighed in, expressing similar sentiments.

     Meetings proceeded in this same manner over the next couple of months.  Sometimes they took place at Combat Outpost Keating, but it was preferable to hold them in the villages, because “forcing” the Americans to travel to them enhanced the elders’ credibility in the eyes of their people.  Kolenda and Hutto noticed, in fact, that there seemed to be a direct correlation between their participation in these shuras and a decline in violence.  By the end of September, attacks on Camp Keating and OP Warheit, as well as on Bulldog Troop patrols and missions, had ceased…

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Col. Sheena Johnson, U.S. Army

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Afghanistan US Army

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