I do not look like an Afghan, never have, never will. My heavy build, broad jaw and Scandinavian facial features are far removed from the typical Afghan’s narrow face and long, hooked nose. But my beard and eyebrows are now dyed almost black, and my face and hands are covered in brown skin cream. I am wearing a lungee, the traditional Afghani turban, on my head, and the equally traditional salwar kameez set, which consists of a khaki tunic and a baggy pair of trousers.
Under the tunic, I am kitted out with a bullet-proof vest, a belt carrying a 9 mm USP pistol, two extra magazines, a Gerber jack knife and a radio connected to a discrete, skin-coloured, moulded ear piece. The Lowa desert boots I am wearing are the only thing visible that could reveal me as a soldier. But if something goes wrong, I need to be able to stand firm.
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