U.S. Military Succeeds In Fields Of The TalibanU.S. Military Succeeds In Fields Of The Taliban
U.S. military gives farming and ranching lessons to Afghanis.
March 12, 2012
Unable to quash the Taliban with bullets alone, U.S. military brass figured they’d try a different approach, one that would bolster the agricultural roots of the desperately poor in southern Afghanistan.
In 2010, the Agriculture Development Team One – a joint Air Force/National Guard counterinsurgency effort – was surrounded by a chaotic ruckus kicked up by thousands and thousands of sheep and goats. Word had spread like wildfire through the mountainous desolation: the Americans would vaccinate and treat herds. The hand-to-mouth populace latched onto the golden opportunity and the team worked for days on the animals.
In the year-plus the team spent in Afghanistan’s dangerous Zabul Province, it was a scene that would repeat itself many times.
The team, largely composed of mid-South men, arrived in Afghanistan in February 2010. A troop surge was ongoing and it was early March before they reached their base, which proved to be nothing except a bare patch of ground a bit over 7,000 ft. in elevation. Tents were pitched, generators brought in, everything built from scratch.
Some 50 miles from the notorious Pakistan border, the base was in a historical area. About a mile away sat a castle built for Alexander the Great – certainly nice, but small consolation weighed against the near-constant threat of violence.
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