As we loaded into trucks for the return to Wilderness, even the Americans’ interpreter, an Afghan from Kabul, was fuming. He threw his arms up.
“They are all uneducated,” he said. “They don’t care. Piss me off, man.”
His name was Qais. He was one of the better interpreters.
“They all high on hashish,” he said. “They gonna do something stupid, kill some civilian. This is the national army, man! My God.”
“They’re high right now?”
“Yeah, man! They all.”
He sat back and wrapped his face in a scarf. He could smell the Hash Monster approaching.
Neil Shea witnessed the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) when he embedded with American troops. His piece, Afghanistan: ‘So This Is Paktya’ appeared in our Summer 2010 issue.