I am currently posted to HQ ISAF Joint Command, in Kabul, Afghanistan on a 9 month tour. Christmas day marks the half-way point of the tour. I work in the Campaign & Transition Assessment Group, helping the Afghan Government prepare for and plan their assumption of security responsibility.
The job is fascinating and, in addition to the remarkable coalition of soldiers, diplomats and development agents, I work on a daily basis with the old guard of Soviet trained military officers and young inspiring Afghans who have been educated in the West and are now back to serve their country.
Despite the occasional and isolated acts of violence found in the country, there is real progress being made here by the international community and Afghans themselves. Success hinges on the careful balance of security, good governance and socio-economic development. In all areas, there have been great strides and there is optimism at the Bonn Conference that post 2014 Afghanistan will continue to develop.
Best wishes to all, and have a very happy Christmas.