Tag Archives: GIRoA

Afghan women gaining respect 9 millimeters at a time

The cover of the December 2011 edition of NTM-A’s magazine Shohna ba Shohna (Shoulder to Shoulder) shows Dutch female police officers training Afghan women in pistol marksmanship.

Both Shohna Ba Shohna and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense reported  the graduation of several women from a two-week security course in Kunduz Province last October.  Since men are unable to touch women according to muslim law, women are vital to ensuring security at check-points around the country.

With the women learning to use pistols, handcuffs, and conduct body-searches and pat-downs, their husbands may not need to ask American medics how to get them pregnant.  

Don’t expect a sexual revolution to overtake Afghanistan anytime soon as there is a catch.  Afghan women are also being taught GIRoA law, human rights, and self-defence which may introduce Afghan men to a truly miserable existence!

Land Rush in Afghanistan

One of the difficult things about construction for the ANA is finding suitable land.  Much of the land has disputed ownership because, over the last 40 years, land has been given away by warlords, Russians, Afghans, and now much of it is squatted on my Americans or NATO forces.  This Christian Science Monitor article captures the problem:

What may be a bigger threat to Afghanistan than insurgency? Land disputes.

Even corrupt ANA leaders, when they aren’t shaking down construction contractors, are selling portions of their garrisons, land that isn’t their’s, to make some money on the side.  Often when we start construction, we’ll run into squatters living on the sites claiming ownership. 

While we may have the “rights” to construct and kick the squatters off the site, it is complicated.  In our counter-insurgency operation (COIN), our goal is to gain the trust of the citizenry.  Offending the locals by simply moving in with brute force will not only give the construction contractor trouble later on but also be counter-productive to engendering confidence the U.S. and the Afghan government.