Friday, March 29, 2013

From A Nebraska Kebab-Maker To A Top U.S. Adviser In Afghanistan

Abdullah Amini (center), an adviser whose job is to help the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan navigate the Afghan culture, used to own a kebab restaurant in Nebraska. Courtesy of ISAF

Nebraska Kebab-Maker Now Top U.S. Adviser In Afghanistan -- Washington Post

KABUL — The man who once owned the only Afghan restaurant in Omaha is known for a different distinction here: He’s one of the longest-serving Americans at NATO’s military headquarters and the only person to have advised the last seven U.S. commanders.

Gen. John R. Allen called Abdullah Amini “my mentor.” To Gen. David H. Petraeus, he was “my wise counsel.” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal wrote to him, “Your friendship means more to me than I’ll ever be able to explain.”

Over nearly a decade in Afghanistan, Amini has become a key player in the American mission, helping top generals navigate a culture in which misunderstandings and perceived insensitivity can have deadly consequences. But his ascent to the halls of power was much different from theirs. And now, as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw, he faces his greatest test as a cultural conduit: watching as the troops of his adopted United States leave the nation of his birth to an uncertain fate.

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My Comment
: A truly remarkable story. Read it all.

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