Thomas Rathsack’s explosive memoir, Jaeger: At War with Denmark’s Elite Special Forces is available now!

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.

After a few years away, I am back in Afghanistan. This country just will not loosen its grip on me. I am in one of the larger cities in the central part of the country with five other Jaegers, and find myself in the most anonymous and self-effacing role ever. The assignment is top secret. We are operating undercover amongst the local population.

No uniform. No visible weapons. No military vehicles.

With me in the car on this trip is Mikkel, my old friend from the reconnaissance operation in the remote Afghan mountains. We are in disguise and working, as always, at night while the city sleeps. In daylight, we would be exposed immediately. But at night, driving an old Toyota with dirty windows in poor street lighting, we rate our chances of evading detection. We have adorned the car’s interior with local gadgets and not washed it for months, making it merge seamlessly with the environment.

The car’s ramshackle appearance belies its tip-top mechanical state. Motor, gearbox, shock absorbers, brakes and tires are all relatively new. We have also pumped fluid into the tyres, enabling the car to continue for up to 20 kilometres with a puncture.

Our undercover status means we may only use weapons if we are under extreme pressure. Still, should the worst possible scenario eventuate, we would certainly put up a decent fight, despite our sparse set-up.