“U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Lucas E. West, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, rejects an Afghan civilian role player’s offer for flowers at Range 220, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 13, 2014.”
by Mike Martin
“It took me a long time to work out what was going on in Afghanistan. What I saw in front of me—everyone’s behaviour—did not match any of the narratives describing the war. This mess was thrown into stark relief when I observed British company commanders in charge of the predominant fighting unit, a company of approximately 120 soldiers. My job was to train and advise such commanders, and I often worked with them from pre-deployment to the end of their tours in Afghanistan.
“Before going to Afghanistan these men spoke, and mostly believed, in an ideologically defined war.”