I spent 2011 working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Northern Province of Kunduz in Afghanistan. My work was largely integrated with the German Civilian and Military efforts.
My job often entailed going out to the villages in very remote and insecure parts of Kunduz with military protection. What always struck me was the biblical way of life and the look of awe and innoncence on the faces of the men, women and children as I rolled in with the military convory and protection. My biggest question during these missions became, " how can I build relationships with these people and truly assist them in prioritizing health services and unmet need if I'm wearing a helmet and armored vest with two gunmen beside me at all times?"
I hope the photos depict the simplicity and innocence of the lives of most in Afghanistan.
Working in Afghanistan forever changed my perspective on CIV/MIL cooperation. The relationships that I formed with Afghans made the work meaningful, but I do question investing in sustainable development in a war-zone. Instead, gains toward having a mutual understanding of good will and peace should be the target.
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German Military protection and transportation