WARDAK, Afghanistan -- The most surprising thing, initially, is how difficult and time-consuming even the most basic tasks are -- like getting around between coalition camps, for instance.
I had left Forward Operating Base Airborne -- where I am based with U.S. Army units from the 10th Mountain Division and a French army training team -- for a short trip to a nearby combat outpost, only a few miles away. The objective had been to take water, food, and building materials to the new outpost. The trip, which had promised to be relatively easy and painless, ended up consuming the entire morning, and was both inordinately tiring and far more dangerous than I had expected for such a minor mission. ...
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