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Old 07-27-2009   #3
Surferbeetle
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Default The missed factor? Water in Afghanistan

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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Steve,

Welcome and your knowledge should help as the current focus in helmand is a thin strip of irrigated land along the Helmand River. Ironically the irrigation was installed by the USA in the Cold War era.

Incidentally I am puzzled why the UK and I assume the USMC are fighting through the "Green Zone", some compare it to the Normandy bocage. Why are we not outflanking the Taliban from the desert alongside?

Now back to my armchair faraway.

davidfpo

David,

It would be interesting to be able to go back in time and discuss things with George Curzon for perspective and understanding.

With respect to sustainable low tech irrigation in Helmand the water masters (mirab bashi) and their surface water systems as well as that groundwater system marvel the karez have been around for a while, and it appears that the Persians (among others) have provided some of the long term irrigation advice which predates us Americans and the Helmand-Arghandab Valley Authority. Kajaki Dam has an interesting history as well and the British have played a significant role in it of late.

The deserts of Iraq were not too bad for about 8 months of the year provided that one could get water. Helicopter flights reinforced my train ride observations however that the bulk of inhabitants clustered along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. A Google Earth examination of the Helmand River shows the same type of behavior. If one accepts that population-centric operations are the way to go, then we, the locals, local Taliban, and Taliban commutersare going to be spending some quality time along the river.

Well, like you it's back to my faraway armchair...for a read and perhaps a nap
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