Photo: Staff Sgt. Christine Jones / U.S. Air Force

From this week’s Small Wars Journal:

He clasped my rosary beads in one hand as he rummaged through his olive drab field jacket with the other.  As we huddled over a small diesel heater for warmth, he delicately handed me the only photograph ever taken of him – a reminder of his days as a mujahedeen fighter.  In the faded print, he held his polished AK-47 more like a farmer than a soldier and wore the very same field jacket, although in much finer condition.  We laughed about his long hair and full set of teeth and traded stories about combat only warriors could appreciate.  In an unexpected moment of friendship, I began to understand…

Let’s do more with less by handing over operational control of key rural districts to small, light, and fast Special Operations Forces advisory teams – free of red tape, parallel chains of command, and impossibly complex coordination between countless military and civilian entities….

Ah, the romance of counterinsurgency surprisingly still alive and well … the old mujahidin sharing tea with me …. and then we kill his kids since it’s precisely these free of red tape SOF units that have been responsible for so many civilian casualties.”