A Can of Coke and a Close Recce
Of course, I know we are being watched all the time (and I don’t mean by my Higher!) There are a row of shops outside the compound – like everywhere else in Afghanistan – and we all know insurgents sit there monitoring our movements; but yesterday really brought it home.
About 1115hrs one of the client’s workers, outside the wire, noticed three Afghan men, traditionally dressed, with long beards, wild hair and wrapped with blankets over their shoulders, walk casually into a shop that has recently sprung up outside our outer cordon. As the worker and his partner glanced at them, one of the three men accidentally dropped his blanket from his shoulder to reveal chest rigging and AK magazines. The two workers legged it back towards the gate and, seeing them run, the three men bolted as well. We stood to, sat it out for a while then went into our drills to ensure the perimeter was secure. Nil result.
While the three men could have been BGs of some local warlord, it is likely – almost certain – they were bad guys, either conducting a recce or just boldly buying a coke from the shop. Either way it’s not a good sign. As they say: “complacency kills”, and we’re ready.