Here's a note via Ben from a Brigade (BDE) Commander in Afghanistan.
First off, I'm sorry that I missed the 25th, but that was the weekend that
I took command....we prepared to deploy unit personnel to Iraq and
Afghanistan. We mobilized in April with 5 of my companies going to Iraq
and me, with the BDE HQ and one of my battalions, to Afghanistan.
This makes the third GWOT (2 Afghanistan, 1 Iraq) deployment for me and the second for most of my personnel. We arrived in theater mid-June and have been going at it now for about a month. Not sure how the Iraq folks feel about being back there, but here in Afghanistan there has been a pronounced change in the country. While there are still bad guys running around, they are really up against the wall. There is still corruption, drugs, poverty, and such but the spirit of the people is amazing.
There has been a marked change in this country and there is much more than a glimmer of hope for the future as each day sees improving security, new schools, roads being build, skills being taught and put to use. From what you hear on the news you would think that none of this is happening, but our great soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines see the great things going on daily. They see how the people of Afghanistan have taken it upon themselves to build a better future. Its just a shame that we don't do a better job of getting the word out...
And just to give you an idea of what's happening in Afghanistan, Arthur Chrenkoff has the latest installment of Good News from Afghanistan where you'll find information consolidated that you won't find elsewhere like:
In other recent developments: "After talks with the 'National Unity Commission' in Paktia province, 250 opposition fighters left the Taleban forces and have returned to peaceful and normal life." In addition, "eleven Taliban leaders including some key figures have joined the reconciliation process in the southern Paktia province." "Former Taliban commander Saifur Rahman Sadiq, alias Safi has surrendered on Sunday [19 June] in the southern Khost province." Mullah Osmanullah Osman, Taliban commander in the Yaqubi district of the Khost province surrendered to authorities on June 28.