Some people in the northernmost of six districts in the Afghanistan’s Panjshir Province walked six miles and waited for up to eight hours to be seen by the US Air Force medical personnel who are part of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team. It took the PRT almost six hours to reach the Paryan district, which has some 38,000 inhabitants, at 10,000 feet above sea level via a rough and narrow road. The medics, who had prepared for family medicine rather than emergency type care based on experience they gained from earlier forays into Afghan villages, saw more than 200 patients. One woman told them that she prayed for “the safety of Americans every night.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.