The combat in Afghanistan is just getting starting. Everything I see indicates that combat in 2010 will eclipse 2009 fighting. We are making progress on some fronts, yet the bottom line is that we still are sinking and show no immediate signs of halting the slide into darkness. At this time, I see zero indications of any short term solutions. The British troops see it, too. Nevertheless, morale remains high among these British soldiers. Despite mounting losses, the Brits continue to willingly and enthusiastically close with the Taliban.
During an interview last night with Military.com, another firefight broke out, which punctuated the conversation with Ward Carroll.
Please see this small story and listen to the interview.
And please support this mission!
13 August 2009
Reporting from Afghanistan: Not your typical job
Posted August 12th, 2009 by Leo Shane in Stripes Central
Back in 2006 I spent six weeks traveling around Afghanistan with various U.S. Army units and reporting on what troops were dealing with in the "forgotten" war. Filing stories and calling my editors was always a tricky prospect, even without any of the heavy fighting that reporters there now are seeing.
So it's humbling to me to listen to this live interview with Michael Yon from his latest travels into Afghanistan, this time with British troops.
Yon has already made a name for himself with his freelance work in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and his latest work has given an up-close view of the tension and danger in Afghanistan right now. But this interview may top all that.
At just about the 7:30 mark, you can start to hear gunfire in the background as he talks with Military.com's Ward Carroll about recent violence in the area. A few minutes later, he pauses for a minute to get to a safer location as machine gun fire intensifies and a rocket whizzes overhead.
But it's only a momentary pause, and he doesn't let the fighting rattle him.
"As if on cue, this is a very contested area," he says, laughing. "It's getting pretty intense here."
Most reporters don't face danger comparable to soldiers on the front lines, but that doesn't mean it's a safe job. The two AP journalists who were seriously injured earlier today in an attack serve as a grim reminder of that.
Our editors keep close tabs on our Stripes' reporters downrange too. Drew Brown and Dianna Cahn have been filing remarkable reports for us from Afghanistan; Our own Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol is in Iraq right now. All of them are under strict instructions to make sure they're keeping their own safety in mind while they're chronicling the important stories there.
I don't know Yon well -- just a few casual emails back and forth -- but I know his reporting well enough that he travels that fine line too. Hopefully he can keep delivering that insightful view of war without ending up too close to the firing line in the future.
I cannot operate in the war without your support. If support does not substantially increase, I will be forced to abandon war reporting in September. There has seldom been much interest in the Afghanistan war. True interest has been starkly reflected in the support for this mission. Each journey into Afghanistan, since 2006, has bled out resources from my operations. Reporting from Afghanistan is not sustainable at this rate.
Nevertheless, I continue to crack on: Please consider signing up for free Twitter updates at Michael_Yon (not Michael Yon without the underscore), for the most timely snippets possible.
I have sent $5 in the past to you; I'm sorry that I don't currently have even that much to send you now. I'm bedridden, fighting foreclosure, without a car to even go look for another place to live; husband lost his job in March, & since he's on unemployment, the state kicked us OFF Medicaid paying our Medicare premiums of $100/month, so now we have $200/month less cash than before. I just don't have money to send at this time.
More importantly, I can pray. I know it's the Lord God Almighty who is watching over you, protecting you and keeping you safe. It is He who will sustain you through all that you do. When we pray, His hand is moved to meet the needs. So I promise to pray for you daily, when my family has devotions and we pray together. I will pray for your safety and your prosperity. I greatly admire you for what you do.
If you need a good ghost writer, copy writer, editor, or proofreader, I will gladly volunteer my talents, skills and abilities to assist you in this area. It would be a way that I can help you and thank you for all you're doing to keep us informed without the bias seen in the mainstream media.
Thank you for doing what you're doing, Michael. Keep the faith, and keep up your good work! Those of us who appreciate you will surely support you to the best of our ability! God bless you and keep you safe in His arms.
See > http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8200492.stm
No doubt we'll learn more about this incident directly from Michael.
Michael, be sure to let the troops know how much we care about them and the difficult task they are undertaking on our behalf. Be careful!