Thursday, November 3, 2011

Civilians Killed in Kabul Suicide Bomb Attack

I have waited to post about mass casualty events to allow the situation to resolve and also out of respect for those that gave their lives, civilian or military.

So, here is the story as reported on many news agencies.  What does this mean to all of us civilian contractors?  I'm going to try and breakdown as much as I can without sacrificing OPSEC. I, and many of my expat brethern have ridden this exact route many times.  I can tell you, it is nerve-racking and quite the experience.  All that said here is what I know:

Civilian contractors dominate these routes that run in/out of the major US and NATO bases in Kabul.  The contractors are predominately Americans.  The Rhino is in fact a nice target, and this is not the first time they have been targeted both in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

Kudos to the USG for commissioning such a vehicle.  Having ridden in one more hours than I care to admit it to my spouse, it makes you feel very safe.   The bomber in Kabul had over 1500lbs of explosives.  The route they were on is a known deadly route and I know from experience the military did all they could to secure it.  Kabul traffic is your worst nightmare and the military is under very strict guidelines on the rules of the road in yielding to civilian traffic and not causing 'incidents'.... Our soldiers are handcuffed in their efforts to protect those that serve them.

A typical convoy has a specific class of protection that is formidable.  I will not go into specifics about those details, but to tell you that there is significant intelligence, firepower and communications capability in all of these convoys with a very high level of oversight.  These are a no joke mission with specific objectives.  I do not believe in any way that the soldiers protecting this sort of convoy became complacent.  I can tell you that their rules of engagement could have likely hindered their effort to protect.

Please do not think that I would ever minimize sacrifices that anyone makes (civilian or military). I do believe it is time for America to wake up to the reality that for us to continuously be able to project our presence worldwide it requires a force of people that are not 'uniformed'.... They are however: just as committed to the cause of American efforts, just as committed to doing the right thing, just as committed to all of the ideals of American freedom and in fact the largest majority of them are former servicemen/women.  The increase in pay for these folks will not keep them in these situations, trust me I have seen it time and again, search my blog for examples.

So, in respect and salute of our civilian and military brethren that gave the ultimate sacrifice on October 29, 2011, we will never forget you, we honor your sacrifice and pray for those you have left behind.

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