Monday, August 14, 2006

Afghan Road Rage

The Post yesterday had another interesting memo from the front. This time it was from the command sergeant major in Afghanistan, counselling his troops on the best approach to the Afghan populace. Unfortunately, they haven't yet put the image of the memo on their web site, just an
introduction to it: "Indeed, U.S. troops have earned a reputation as 'negligent, offensive, rude, callous, occupiers, hostile, disrespectful . . . you get the point.' That description is found in the memo below by a senior sergeant in Afghanistan, signaling that the Army is thinking seriously about how to operate differently -- and more effectively -- in its counterinsurgency efforts."

It struck my eye for two reasons. It reaffirms what I knew from Nam--you put guns in the hands of big young males and they will try to prove Lord Acton's maxim: "power corrupts...." But it also proves the hold of the past--it's typed in monospaced type (i.e. pica or elite). The bureaucracy has problems believing that proportional spacing upper and lower case is the most readable font.

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