I am working with my Dutch colleagues in the Task Force Uruzgan operations room on another March day in southern Afghanistan.1 I am far removed from my university, and in a world where acronyms such as INS (Insurgents) and RPG (rocket-propelled grenade), MAJ (Major), LT (Lieutenant), CPL (Corporal), LCPL (Lance Corporal), and PTE (Private) need no explanation. We are a short helicopter flight and a long drive north of Kandahar and Helmand provinces, areas of intense fighting. Our mountainous province, just over half the size of Wales but with a far smaller population and only one paved road, is relatively peaceful. It is something of a backwater but as a province with links to both Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, it is terrain that is still inextricably linked to the conflict. On this day we have patrols of soldiers in the field, Afghan National Army (ANA) troops accompanied by their Australian mentors.
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