Money and the draw to the shutter

Over thew last few days I've seen plenty, but one of the reoccurring topics of conversation is the staggering amount of money that the US is using the essentially create an army from scratch.

From a section of new recruits walking by, each with a brand new Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle, to parking yards filled with hundreds of brand new Hummers, brand new everything and anything, this army is awash with material. Unfortunately the soldiers sometimes go weeks or months without getting paid.

It should be mentioned though that it isn't all US gear. Much of the heavy gear - tanks and artillery is Russian, though I'm not sure where the money to purchase the larger weapon systems comes from.

While ogling all the gear I've met plenty of enthusiastic folk. Civilian contractors and Afghan soldiers, all ready for a smile, but of course like an unprovable equation those who are less than enthusiastic are unlikely to allow their photo to be taken. As I'm not a reporter I'm not going to try and sneak these things. Interestingly though, when asking the Afghan soldiers if I can take their portrait, like any new soldier, the smiles disappear and the stone-cold killer faces are turned on.

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