Small Wars Journal

Down at the District

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Down at the District

A Look at the

District Delivery Program

by MAJ Gail Fisher

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In foothills of eastern Afghanistan on a brilliant

spring day, district elders from Sayyidibad crowd into a cold, sunlit room in

the cinderblock district center.  They listen to speeches from men smartly

dressed in western style just arrived from Kabul.  

An enormous wooden table sits squarely in the middle

of the room.   The district center was built only three years ago, but a

florescent light already dangles precariously from the ceiling, one end free of

its anchor.  Burnt-orange curtains, stained and torn, hang on the windows. 

Brightly colored plastic-wrapped snacks are brought in with tea, and the

Provincial Governor gives his speech over the rattle of opening snacks and

sipping of tea.

The Provincial Governor speaks of endless disappointments, the Afghan central

government's broken promises, and proposes a way forward in the district. 

Promise and caution comingle in the morning's remarks.

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MAJ Gail Fisher is a U.S.  Army Reserve Civil Affairs

officer serving in the Future Operations Section of ISAF Joint Command, Kabul,

Afghanistan as a stability operations planner.

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