Col. Babagul Aamal is a proud veteran of 28 years in the Afghan National Army. Short and fit, with a thick black beard, he's a leader who blurts out exactly what he's thinking.
"I don't talk politics - I talk facts," Aamal said, wearing a sweater beneath his uniform in his unheated command office on a dusty base 40 miles east of Kabul.
It shames him, Aamal said, that he is not allowed to wear his pistol when he enters the fortified gate of the new American military base next door. Though he's a brigade commander, he's required to stand before an airport-type scanner with his arms raised, almost in surrender.