And by alone, I mean "as a member of the US Armed Forces and the Air Land Battle."
CZECH soldiers in Afghanistan have let their British command down by refusing to fight terrorists several times, the Czech daily DNES wrote today.
I was involved with an operation when I was in Afghanistan (that I will only tell the story with names and places on my back deck with a fire in my fire-pit, a barley pop in my hand and a good cigar) because it is that kind of story.
But since none of you are there right now, I will tell it here with the detail that I can and try to hit the high points...
This one time, when we were in Zormat, my ETT partner and I had (along with a platoon from the 82nd who had rotated in to our firebase) had to hustle to Ghazni Province at dusk to save the life of a high ranking member of the Czech Diplomatic Corps and his Czech escort. We were already out in Indian Country trying to pick a fight, but it was getting late and we were about to head home when the radio cracked on the 82nd net and they passed to us that we needed to get there right now because they were in contact, and they had a soldier wounded.
I mean, aside from being in contact with an unknown size element with a wounded man and no idea of truly where they were on the other side of this mountain range; what could go wrong?
So we start heading there and we find out that this is not an active firefight (well, not anymore at least) and there are, get this, two soldiers on the ground there protecting this highly important person. That created a sense of urgency to get there, as we knew that no matter what, they were going to be outnumbered.
We get there, secure the place, and we come to find out that this little party happened because these super soldiers (Czech SOF escorts) and the high ranking guy decided that they were going to hop into their truck (a pretty nice Toyota Landcruiser, well, pre ambush it was) and drive from Ghazni Province to Kabul.... By themselves...
This stroke of genius landed them in the middle of a Taliban ambush, with a wounded escort and a disabled vehicle and a SAT phone that they called for help on. It was a miracle we found them at all. Take a look at Google Earth and you will see what a monumentally BAD idea that was.
The punchline to this little goat-roping jaunt that we took out of our own AO is that on the way back through Indian Country, we got ambushed about 3 Klicks from the last firefight we had in that area and about 7 Klicks from our firebase, resulting in 4 dead Afghan Soldiers and another experience with Mortuary Affairs, Muslim Style.
My point to all this is that if these Czech SOG asshats were just giving excuses for only being assigned the "Ice Cream" missions like Hostage Rescue, Hard Target Takedown (which don't happen that often), and not "Diplomatic Security," Convoy Escort, Police Call, FOD Walk etc. the head line would have read "Czech SOG Eager For Fight."
And having run into this problem with other Eastern European Armies, I can tell you that when the SOG guys say "we're not going to, it's dangerous,'' or "we're not certain about the law on this one.." then I would rather they stay home, as in their actual homes back in the Czech Republic, because war is far to serious an undertaking for these guys.
Most of the time, our "Coalition Partners" are coming to the Afghan Party (or any other really) for the money we pour into their treasury for the privilege of their participation the PX, Burger King, and the good KBR Chow that they don't want to get out of earshot of.
I would rather our government just not invite them at all, and let slip the real dogs of war...