This is at a Shura outside of Jaker Base at a school. We are sitting in the auditorium. You can't see, but the room is lined with Marines, Generals and Colonels and Elders, Governors, ANA (Afghanistan National Army) Commanders and ANP (Afghanistan National Police). There are a lot of very important people in this room.
Outside there are a multitude of ANP, ANA and US Military guarding the structure. The rest of the school is empty, much to the joy of the students I spoke to outside. You will see no one is carrying any weapons and none of us have on any armor. We are all walking 'slick'. There have also been snipers planted for several days.
At this Shura Elders and the Governors have come from surrounding districts, Gamsur, Marja and Nawa. The talk is about the amazing accomplishments and how grateful the Afghanistan people are to the US Military for the reconstruction effort and strides it has made in unifying the people of Afghanistan against the Taliban.
The day before the Principal at a school in Gamsur was beheaded by the Taliban. This Shura is a testament to how the Afghanistan people are unifying against them with the help of US Military training and not letting them overtake their lives. They are no longer afraid to fight for the education of their children.
No matter what you've heard...the people of Afghanistan are extremely grateful for all the US military has done for them.