Michael Yon follows an American contractor in Afghanistan. An excerpt:
Occasionally I would fly to Singapore to meet with Steve or others about Afghanistan, and I realized through time that my friend had morphed into something far greater than a mere “contractor.” Keeping in mind that Steve started doing Afghanistan business in 1997. He understands counterinsurgency at its most basic level and has been doing it in Afghanistan and elsewhere for years.
Steve is one of those intellectual freaks who brushes up against a language and accidentally learns it. He speaks Spanish, Russian, Pashto to a growing degree, and other languages. His staff is international. At times when he needs interpreters, they are first rate. Far better than what most of the military affords. Steve’s interpreters are actually something else—such as business managers—they’re Afghans who are completely fluent in English, and some have travelled. The only Americans I see with interpreters this good are generals, or ranking civilians.