Whenever we go outside the wire (into the local community,) we have to wear our full body armor. It’s lots of gear, and to someone who’s never seen it before, it can look a bit intimidating (especially to a child.)
Of course, the Afghans that we are dealing with usually don’t have any of this protection.
When talking with the Afghans inside a presumably safe place, like, say, the Governor’s compound, sometimes we’ll take it off, but other than that, it stays on everywhere we go.
I wonder: What type of message are we sending by wearing all of the body armor while, at the same time, we are asking Afghans to put trust and faith in their local police and military security forces?
No matter what, I’m going to wear my gear at all times. The fact is, coalition forces are more likely to be attacked than civilians.
I imagine the best way for us to show Afghans that we trust them to provide their own security is to live the same way they do … without body armor out in the open.
Um, yeah … about that …
Not gonna happen.