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Westerners Are Using Tinder In Afghanistan. An Anonymous User Tells Us How It Works
Every smartphone user between the ages of 18 and 50, who is attracted to other people in either theory or practice, knows about the Tinder dating app. On the off chance you’ve carved out a paper-thin cultural niche for yourself and have successfully dodged any passing reference to the phenomenon — or you’re in a healthy long-term relationship — then I’m not talking to you. The rest of you seeking emotional fulfillment with the help of a digital device, prepare to have your mind blown: Afghanistan has Tinder.
To put it another way, there are people on Tinder in Afghanistan. Technically, Tinder exists wherever a smartphone can pick up a signal, but in a country struggling to escape decades of war, this is an achievement that deserves to be listed among polio eradication and poverty alleviation as one of the international community’s development goals. The power grid here is abysmal, corruption and violence run rampant, but at least the West’s 13-year occupation has imparted this war-torn land with an incredibly efficient way to flirt.
Of course, with Tinder, as with anything in Afghanistan, expectations must be managed like a favorite one-liner. If you tap the flame icon and start pinging once you land at Kabul International, profiles will populate as sure as bullets cause bleeding. The trick? Location, location, location. Expand your distance out to 99 miles and you’ll catch a few gals at Jalalabad. Pull it in a bit and the Shank ladies will show at 60, plus the Bagram babes around 30 miles yonder. But unless you have a bird, limit your radar range to ten miles. You’ll still catch the capital crowd, while saving yourself the agony of pining for a match on the other side of mine-infested mountains.
Even at ten miles, you’ll still find women. Not a lot, but some. Unfortunately, even with a selection that’s better than only North Korea, getting a connection is the easy part. Once a match is made, you still have to navigate a city littered with checkpoints and find some place that hasn’t been bombed yet. No one said war was easy.
A couple weeks ago, I matched with a cute American girl. The conversation, which began with mutual expressions of concern that neither of the other’s friends had been killed in the latest attack on foreigners, stirred a rousing back and forth that led to a proposed date and excited acceptance. If we were in New York, the biggest dilemma would concern who would have a longer train home. In Kabul, things are a bit more complicated: questions of curfews, movement restriction, and various governmental privileges quickly rose to the fore.
She worked at the embassy. I lived in town. I offered a list of potential venues that hadn’t been blown up yet, but she wasn’t allowed to leave her fortified compound. She offered I come and visit, but navigating the precipitous maze of checkpoints and search areas — each of which had been attacked on multiple occasions — didn’t seem wise for a blonde who blends in about as well as a hipster at Home Depot.
Momentum stalled as each successive attempt was stymied by overwhelming reality, and things fell apart. That battle may have been lost, but my war to snatch a scrap of normalcy is hardly over. The best thing about Tinder in Afghanistan? That you can use Tinder in Afghanistan. New people are always coming into town, and I’ll continue to give Tinder a try, if for nothing else than a dinner date where I forget about the vigilant guard cradling his AK-47. In a land littered with the failures of the past, nothing restores hope like flirting with the future.
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
In leaked documents, Army family reports waiting weeks to have gas line and roof leaks fixed in on-base housing
As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.
And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.