Stephen Carlson served two tours in Afghanistan as an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division. Writing in the Washington Post he sums up the collective dilemma that is Afghanistan: ‘I can understand why no one else knows what is going on there, because after 15 years and two tours I still don’t know.’
Even after 15 years the international community has no idea what to do. It clings to a failed counter-insurgency doctrine, continues to pour billions of dollars of aid into the country and routinely trots out meaningless platitudes that are, at best, a gross distortion of the truth. Meanwhile, Helmand Province remains a key trade centre in the global illegal opium trade as the country continues to descend into civil war.
Nothing can change until we are at least honest with ourselves about past mistakes. But too many political and military reputations are at stake for this to happen anytime soon.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.
A JOURNEY OF LOVE, SERVICE AND ADVENTURE. EXCELLENT!
A MODERN WARFARE LITERARY CLASSIC! OUTSTANDING READ.
ENTERTAINING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING AND COMPULSORY TO READ.