Ross Elder is a soldier recently returned from Afghanistan who has been writing these columns to give a “boots on the ground” perspective of Operation Enduring Freedom.
IN PURSUIT OF VICTORY
I have been asked some very specific questions about my experience in Afghanistan, so I will give some very direct opinions in this, and future, articles.
AFGHANISTAN: TAKING SIDES
“Can you help me?” That is the question we hear fairly frequently from our Afghan partners. This question, from a young man we will call Naji, was posed with regard to his desired escape from Afghanistan.
LAST ROLL CALL
Without question, this is the most difficult article I have ever attempted to author. Although feelings of loss and sadness never fully leave a person, the grieving process has run its course. It isn’t so much the memory as much as it is the struggle to find the appropriate words to describe it that makes it so difficult. Out of respect for the family of the fallen, I will not mention their names or their unit. Suffice to say, they were men I knew.
RULE OF LAW: THE AFGHAN WAY
Rule of law, according to U.S. Army doctrinal definition, is defined as: . . . a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights principles.
U.S. Army, 2011 Rule of Law Handbook
BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
For several years, the greatest desire in my professional life has been to put my boots on the ground in Afghanistan. I have been a reader of SOF magazine for more than 30 years. During that time, there have been innumerable stories about Afghanistan and the various adventures of hearty men who have traversed its mountain passes. I always wanted to see it for myself.