How one man makes a difference in Afghanistan

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab, human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, TF Red Bulls, takes notes as he talks to a villager about governance and development issues Feb. (click for more)

Guardians of Peace produces results in Paktya

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clint Koerperich of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, squad leader for 2nd Platoon, Company C., 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, patrols with ANA soldiers (click for more)

Working together to put Afghan heroes back together again

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Gheiratullah, an Afghan medical soldier, practices self aid and buddy care at the Paktya Regional Medical Center Feb. 13. (click for more)

Bidder’s conference places Afghans in control

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Crystal Sims (right), from Duncan, Okla., a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, assists an Afghan with registering at the bidder’s (click for more)

Panjshir women strengthen communication skills

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, TF Red Bulls, shows Rohubza Dousti, a trainer and supervisor at the United Nations Habitat and a Panjshir youth group (click for more)

Ghazni PRT assesses village, builds relationships

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Ghazni PRT members walk among the locals engaging in conversation during a village assessment in Touheed Abad in Ghazni Province Feb. 6. (click for more)

Iowa ADT inks deal for orchard training farm

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Hazrat Ali Gull, a fruit producer, explains improvements he already made to a proposed orchard training farm site he owns to U.S. Army Master Sgt. (click for more)

Co. A makes successful return to Shebatkyl

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A team of Kiowa helicopters provide overhead security for U.S. Army Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, and Afghan National Army Soldiers from (click for more)

Delegation conducts market outreach mission in Zormat

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mohammad Masood, Paktya Agricultural Department advisor, and U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, 2-45 Agribusiness Development Team commander from Lawton, Okla., examine spices during a mission to (click for more)

Kunar PRT medics help healing at Asadabad Hospital

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lynn Redman of San Antonio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team nurse practitioner, examines a female Afghan patient with Afghan Dr. Ismat Shinwary, Asadabad (click for more)

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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab (center), a human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, Task Force Red Bulls, on patrol with Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, a part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, listens as an interpreter speaks with a villager Feb. 2. Loynab speaks with villagers about governance and development issues. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kristina L. Gupton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)

 

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Rocks were being thrown at U.S. forces. One hit Ghouse Loynab in the head. It was the definition of an unfriendly scenario. One where, in the interests of safety, the American forces with Loynab might have withdrawn from the Afghan village.

 

However, Loynab, a human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, Task Force Red Bulls, had another idea. He recounts his conversation with a village elder that day -- a conversation he used to disarm the conflict.

“I said ‘So, this is really cool. My dad taught me about Afghanistan, but he never told me that you guys would rock people. Guys, you need to learn, I don’t care who you like or who you dislike but when somebody comes into your house, according to the culture, you never ever disrespect your guest,’” said Loynab.

“They were very understanding after that,” he finished.

In a war that has come to be less about killing the enemy and more about establishing trust and even friendship with the people, Loynab is a cutting-edge weapon. He is a human terrain analyst, and a man with a foot in both the United States and Afghanistan.

It is how, as a human terrain analyst in Afghanistan, he can shame a village when they abuse Americans.

A job transfer brought his family from Afghanistan to the U.S. in 1972. After Loynab was born, his father became a successful entrepreneur trying his hand at dry cleaning, cab companies and the restaurant business. Yet, for all of their success, his father would not let Loynab forget his roots were in Afghanistan.   

According to Loynab, his father told him he should respect America all the time, but also respect the culture of Afghanistan from which his grandfather and forefathers came.

He learned English, Spanish and Dari, and he is learning Pashtu. He also observes the customs of his forefathers’ country, kissing his father whenever he greets him. But he is an American. Loynab said he loves his home in Durham, N.C., where he can drive down the street and stop to talk to people, and where his passionately loved Duke Blue Devils basketball team resides.

This mixed background gives him both the credibility and perspective necessary to approach Afghans or confront a rock-throwing village to further the coalition mission.

Loynab explains to Afghans the Americans are there to help them so that one day they can take control of their own country.

Human terrain analysts have been in Afghanistan for years. They work by analyzing statistical data about the population like a social scientist, or by engaging with local leaders.   

“I actually have a passion for what I’m doing: one, because I know the job really well now; two, I know the people, the customs, the culture; and three, you have to be willing to do it,” Loynab said.

U.S. Army Maj. Bobbie Jo Mayes, the women’s empowerment coordinator with the Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II from Lawrenceburg, Ky., has worked with Loynab multiple times.

Mayes’ job is to provide women with skills in agribusiness that will allow them to make a living wage. Loynab works with Mayes to make that happen, but he has also brought the needy to her attention.

Recently he and his wife, who also works for the coalition in Afghanistan, pointed Mayes to a group of 27 displaced families in desperate need of help.

“These kids look like they have not eaten for months,” Mayes said. “Stuff I would never have known about unless they were there.”

That is just one way Loynab is able to make a difference. By knowing what his home country can do for the land of his ancestors, he attempts to bridge the cultural and communication gaps, bringing the two sides together and closer to peace.

“(Afghans) need to know this. They need to keep learning this,” said Loynab. “We’re here to help, to build Afghanistan a better place to live for the Afghan people, and were out.”PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab (right), a human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team Task Force Red Bulls, visits the village of Khanaka with Alpha Troop 1st Squadron, 113th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, a part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, takes notes as he talks to villagers while on patrol Feb. 2. Loynab speaks with villagers about governance and development issues. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kristina L. Gupton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs) PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab (near left), a human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, Task Force Red Bulls, out on patrol with Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, a part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, takes notes as he talks to a villager about governance and development issues Feb. 2. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kristina L. Gupton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 00:15
 

    

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