Hat tip to Eric Palmer, from whom I shamelessly stole this great headline.
An allied Afghan platoon opened up with their .50-caliber machine gun, spraying bullets all over the valley, and their mortar team went into action. Within seconds, the team of three had run down to their position, yanked the cover off the mouth of the heaviest weapon on the post, unwrapped an 82-mm round and dropped it down the tube. There was a strong metallic clink, followed by a blast as the bomb went zooming out from the mortar. Seconds later a boom reverberated over the surrounding mountains, and the Afghan crew stood on tiptoe, trying to see where it had landed.And that is the point. Over the course of 10 days in October 2011, the Afghan National Army (ANA) mortar crew never actually aimed their tube. They never took a bearing, never read out elevations, never set up their aiming sticks — though they did continuously clean and oil the weapon.
War is a continuation of politics. Politics is mostly talking. Some ways of warfare seem to be a lot about noise and less about killing and destruction than others. I suppose the Afghan way of doing war and the always amusing yet tragic photos of African 'militiamen' are about a way of war that prefers to talk with guns rather than to focus on killing with guns if faced with armed opposition.
It is a lot more about doing noise than Western troops can possibly accept as competent. This kind of works among themselves, and that's probably what we should allow to happen.