Arnon Grunberg

Language problems

A difference

On one of my last days in Afghanistan last October I had a meeting with a Dutch general at the ISAF-headquarters.
We spoke for two and a half hours.
The general predicted that Dutch troops would remain in Afghanistan till 2010, which means in reality that the last Dutch soldier is going to leave Afghanistan in 2012.
His predictions were quite accurate. On Friday the Dutch government made known that exactly this has been decided.
The Dutch minister of foreign affairs stated that the presence of Dutch troops in Afghanistan is making a difference.
He didn’t elaborate on what kind of difference exactly these troops are making.
It’s doubtful if NATO has a realistic plan for Afghanistan.
Turkish troops are responsible for the security around Kabul International Airport. But the Turkish general in Afghanistan is not able to speak English.
Some high-ranking Italian officers found a solution for language problems. During meetings they remain silent.
An Italian general is known for polishing his cuff links during these meetings.