It is a rare thing in life to find yourself a witness to history. What is happening now in Afghanistan does not receive much attention in the international press. That will change because there are two ways out of that country for America and her allies. They can establish enough security in the provinces to allow for a graceful exit or they can declare victory and leave. If they take the second option getting all their people and equipment out of the country will be problematic and they will lose troops. If they take the first option they will be forced to fight with the Afghan Security Forces and they will lose troops. The war in Afghanistan is not over and is about to enter a second phase that may prove the basis of a model to deal with re-establishing security in the many countries currently afflicted by the contagion of war.
My name is Tim Lynch, founder of Free Range International – the go to blog for Afghanistan when I lived there from 2005 – 2012. I am a security/reconstruction specialist who worked the most contested provinces in Afghanistan when the security situation was completely pear shaped. I have been accepted for a month-long embed with the Marines who are returning to the most violent province in the country; the Helmand.
I need your help to make this trip possible.
The Marines are returning to the Helmand province in Afghanistan and believe they have the tools to make the security situation better. This as new type of combat deployment - one that is task organized to sustain the security forces and deal with the tribal leaders.
This story is important because our military is going to have to go into places like Syria, Iraq or Libya to separate inter-tribal factions and establish an acceptable level of order.
The return of Marines in such limited numbers to the most violent province in Afghanistan would be troubling were they going back to fight. They aren't; they will be there to assist but there is more to the story. The Marines will be armed with a detailed understanding of the inter-tribal dynamics that drive the cycle of violence in the Helmand Province. They plan to use this knowledge as part of their "advise" function and if successful they will drive the level of violence down dramatically.
My reporting combines a detailed knowledge of the people and places in the Helmand with an insider's understanding of the United States Marine Corps.
I will be posting regularly before, during and after my embed (scheduled to start in mid-July) and will also be doing weekly interviews with Mac on All Marine Radio. www.allmarineradio.com
The projected expenses are as follows:
Air Fare $2350
Camera Equipment $1,840
10 days hotel costs Dubai and Kabul $2330.00
Combat Insurance Policy $1200.00
If these expenses are covered I can take care of the rest out of pocket,
Please support my effort to tell a complicated story with the insight only available to those who lived with and understand both the Afghan people and our Marines.