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My keep on the Bagram army base

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The author (2nd R) photographed with American troops at the Bagram base, in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 2012. — Photo provided by author
The writer (2nd R) photographed with American troops on the Bagram base, in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 2012. — Photograph offered by writer

The Bagram army base in Kabul has been handed over to Afghan forces by the People, almost 20 years after the invasion of Afghanistan.

Bagram — named after the city the place it’s situated, 25 kilometres north of Kabul within the Parwan province of the nation — covers an space of roughly 50 sq. kilometres.

The Bagram Air Base was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1950 underneath considered one of a number of army agreements between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union additionally performed a task within the creation of the Afghan Air Power.

After the communist Parcham and Khalq events overthrew the Afghan authorities in 1978, they invited the Crimson Military underneath a treaty with the Soviet Union to save lots of the Communist revolution. Through the Soviet intervention, Soviet and Afghan forces used Bagram to bomb mujahideen positions and the far off areas of Afghanistan.

Later, in the course of the 1996-1999 civil struggle in Afghanistan, one finish of the Bagram base was occupied by the Northern Alliance, whereas the opposite finish was in possession of the Taliban.

Bagram later took on a important significance for the US Air Power and Military over the 20 years of the US ‘intervention’ in Afghanistan.

My keep at Bagram

I visited Bagram in 2012. Our aircraft had landed on the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul within the night of January 18, simply because the solar was taking place behind the mountains.

We had been greeted by NATO representatives, amongst them an Afghan translator. We had been purported to be taken to the Serena Lodge in Kabul.

The translator guided our small convoy. We moved quick: after clearing safety, we had been bundled into a giant van, which was purported to drive us to our resort. Our van gave the impression to be taking an unnecessarily longer route. After we had travelled for some time, I requested the translator whether or not a brand new Serena resort had been constructed within the metropolis. Based on my information, it was not purported to be so removed from the airport.

I used to be instructed that we had been now not going to the Serena Lodge, however to the US army base at Bagram. We had been instructed that the Taliban had fired rockets on the space adjoining to Kabul’s Bazar Buzurgan and Serena Lodge earlier that morning, so the resort had been evacuated and the realm cordoned off.

So, for safety causes, our keep had been organized on the US army base. In opposition to the luxurious of enjoyable within the Serena Lodge, staying in a army barracks appeared like a frightening prospect: however the greatest shock was but to come back.

After we arrived on the Bagram base, we had been instructed we’d be staying the evening at a camp consisting of a giant tent, the place tough bunk-beds and loud heaters greeted us. Ten days in that tent as a substitute of the Kabul Serena appeared like a tricky ask. The opposite painful factor was the bathrooms, which had been outdoors the tents and required a five-digit code to open. You couldn’t go to the john with out the code.

A view of the tents where we slept in bunk-beds. — Photo provided by author
A view of the tents the place we slept in bunk-beds. — Photograph offered by writer

Fortunately, having been accustomed to struggle circumstances (I had coated a variety of army workouts with NATO and was a member of a army household), I had little issue adjusting.

After spending the evening within the tent, we had been ushered to the briefing division on the base. A briefing was given by Gen William Caldwell, who was accountable for the muse and growth of the Afghan Nationwide Military and the Afghan Police. He briefed us intimately concerning the prices incurred in increase the safety forces in Afghanistan, which he estimated to be $100 billion. He defined {that a} single American soldier in Afghanistan value $700,000 a yr, in comparison with the $25,000 spent on coaching an Afghan soldier.

I requested the overall what quantity of the nationalities residing in Afghanistan was represented within the military, and his response was that the military comprised all nationalities. Nonetheless, the variety of Pashtuns was smaller than it ought to have been, however their numbers had been regularly rising. He additionally defined that there was desertion, however the charge was not too excessive.

He had recounted difficulties in rebuilding the Afghan Air Power, as a result of it wanted extremely educated folks, who he stated had been few in quantity in Afghanistan. He had estimated that the full energy of the Afghan military and police can be 350,000.

Tanks belonging to the US Army can be dotting the landscape. — Photo provided by author
Tanks belonging to the US Military could be dotting the panorama. — Photograph offered by writer

Later, we had lunch on the Pizza Hut on the bottom. We needed to fulfill ourselves with vegetarian pizza and coke, as many of the non-vegetarian pizzas on supply contained pork. Beer with a 5-7% alcohol content material was additionally on the menu. We needed to pay for the meals in {dollars} whereas silently considering the ‘freedoms’ introduced by the People to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

I additionally remembered that Bagram was additionally a infamous jail the place suspected Taliban and prisoners of the Kabul authorities had been additionally stored. Quite a few them had accused the Kabul authorities of torturing them at Bagram.

Over the past 40 years, Bagram has witnessed the defeat of the 2 nice superpowers of current historical past. On the similar time, it’s a image of the inner turmoil wracking Afghanistan, its archaic tribal system and rampant corruption of society: regardless of the intervention of the 2 superpowers — which went in (albeit resulting from differing causes) to ‘help’ the Afghan folks, the cycle of violence in Afghanistan has not ended. As an alternative, each interventions have solely resulted in deepening the civil struggle and shifting extra energy to warlords.

Solely time will inform what the long run will deliver to this iconic place.


Shery Mudasir

Hey, I am Shery Mudasir an engineer by profession and a Blogger by Passion, and the Founder of Newsonhy. Newsonhy works as an operating system for bloggers to explore Blogging, SEO, and Affiliate marketing tips, Latest News, Read More

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