fob todd - afghanistan
Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, December 2008. Sargeant Major Novello of the 8th Regiment of the Alpini Brigata Julia covers his face to protect himself from the sand kicked up by a Chinook during takeoff.
The Italian military presence in Afghanistan began with the ISAF mission in 2002. It has lasted seven years and, today, employs about three thousand men, most of whom are posted in the region of Herat. They will have to contribute, in cooperation and coordination with the Afghan Security Forces,
to ensuring the country’s security and they will also be used in operations to support reconstruction projects. Recent reports show that the Afghan front is the most important and sensitive issue Italy is currently involved in. The level
of tension and danger has increased, and the need to revise the rules of engagement to reflect new scenarios is once again being discussed.
In the village of Bala Morghab, north-western Afghanistan, the soldiers from Eighth Regiment Alpine troops Brigade Julia are posted to the Forward Operating base Todd, along with U.S. soldiers and units of the Afghan
National Army (ANA).
The village has always been a hub for trafficking weapons and drugs from nearby Turkmenistan. This underground trade has fuelled and supported the countless groups of Taliban who surround the area.
The situation in Bala Morghab remains very tense: recently there have been several fire fights directly involving Italian troops. The balance between the parties is very unstable, peace in Bala Morghab is not very different from war and there is no hope that the situation will soon improve.