A few soldiers died recently in my province at a combat outpost. There was a major gunfight a few miles from my base. My war has been relatively quiet, meeting with contractors and traveling to villages to look at schools. How real the war truly is, but how blind we are sometimes to it. I hope that I can make the most of my tour here, and make a real difference, but the fighting seems like it is another world away. And yet it is so close. The contracts and the killing are interrelated, a massive struggle to gain popular support, like an election campaign where the other side likes to blow people up. And the stakes are huge. This country is the crossroads of almost every unstable region in the world except for Africa. Iran to one side, India/Pakistan to another, China getting interested in expanding its influence. The stability of these regions depends on the stability of a country that most people didn't care about before 9/11, mostly because it was stable (though brutal). The stakes are high and it is me more than the door-kickers who can win the war, win by supporting the government long enough and hard enough so that it can finally stand on its own two feet when the acceptable time comes. But I must stay alive to win, and the war, though it seems distant at times, is all around me.
That's all from the wall