Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.
One problem–the proverb presupposes that there is a place to fish. In Afghanistan, the biggest bodies of water are the evaporation lagoons of the westernized wastewater treatment plants and the irrigation ponds surrounding the ANA’s botanical gardens.
The photo at left appeared on the NTM-A website with the following caption: “Afghan National Army soldiers unpack 70 Dell computers for use at the Regional Military Training Center Aug. 18. The ANA will use the computers to keep track of its supplies in [digital] form.”
Of what little I know about Afghans, this much is certain–“Afghan Right” is not computer-based. What would Ghengis Khan or Attila the Hun have done with a computer? So the obvious joy on the soldiers’ faces says one thing to me–PAYDAY (or Fantasy Fishing)!
Don’t be surprised if the billions of dollars of boats and tackle end up in the next Bassmaster tournament on ESPN.
In my first few months in Afghanistan, I have been in multiple regions. Even though Afghanistan is mostly desert (12-13% arable), the Afghans love plants and typically, after taking over an installation, will plant thousands of trees and try to green up their new bases.
Keeping the most important plants healthy
As you’ve heard in the news, the US and coalition forces are actively trying to elimnate the poppy-trade in Afghanistan and replace it with more legitimate sources of economic development. I don’t think General Petraeus ever thought that would mean substituting for another illicit cash crop!
I'm not a horticulturalist, but that is a healthy looking plant
The Kabul Military Training Center, the premier ANA training center in Afghanistan, has been a case study for wasting water and they continue to amaze.
While no one wants to see water wasted, at least the Afghans have demonstrated their acumen for poppy cultivation is transferrable to another cash crop–marijuana.
Happy Fourth of July!