Soldiers Seek to Rid Opium From Afghanistan One Batch at a Time

Three 82mm rockets hit base this morning, causing two wounded, but that’s about it so far today other than some potshots off base. Well, before I could finish this short dispatch there was an IED strike with about 120 pounds of explosives. Our people are fine. During the earlier rocket strike, at least one captain did a combat roll from his bed to the floor. Such combat rolls are better done from a bottom bunk than from the top. Many of the bases are so large that your chances of getting hit are trivial, but in the tiny bases where our people are more densely packed, your chances can be much higher. FOB Pasab, where this is written, is a medium-sized base. Casualties occur on base, but not many considering the number of people.

Nearly all of the 4-4 Cav fighting occurs within a few miles of FOB Pasab. During a mission many weeks ago, the Afghan Soldiers, or maybe it was our guys, found a bowl of opium paste at a family compound. The opium has already been harvested and the poppy stalks have been cut down and are dry and hardened. Farmers gather the crunchy brown stalks into piles out in the corn, and around the family compounds. The marijuana and other plants that have replaced the poppy are lush and green still.

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