Letter Re: Bureaucratic Restrictions on Defensive Wire and Obstacles

[Regarding your recent mention of the ban on barbed wire in the city of Newark, New Jersey,] they aren’t the only ones. I am currently in Kabul [, Afghanistan] doing contract security work and we wanted to improve the security of the compound we live in. We are doing so by adding HESCO bastions made into fighting positions on the outside of our perimeter wall. As our workers were finishing the last of them, the police came by to tell us that we could not put up HESCOs on the street. When I got out there I asked the police why we could not put out HESCOs. The reply was that someone in parliament thought it made the city look like a war zone and that they would no longer be allowed.

This ignores the fact that Kabul actually is in a war zone. We also had the bombed-out hull of a BTR-152 [Russian Armored Personnel Carrier] alongside the building but that was fine, apparently.

I solved the problem by saying that they were not HESCOs, that we planned to face them with plywood and plant flowers in them. It wasn’t for force protection, it was part of our neighborhood beautification program. The workers laughed, the police scowled and within a week we had them enclosed in lumber and had flowers planted on our fighting positions. – Jake (Vacationing in Kabul)