After many months of applying and planning, Phnom Penh-based writer Robert Davis was finally given the all-clear to join coalition troops in the field in Afghanistan. Davis, whose friends call him a professional tennis coach with a writing problem, then contributed a series of dispatches from the front line for The Phnom Penh Post which were published every week. We now combine those dispatches for our online edition to give readers a feel of what it’s like to be in one of the world’s hot-spots and have added some of Davis’s pictures which have never previously been published.
''The big problem is these militaries do not understand the local culture. I mean, how can you communicate with a normal Afghani when you are laden down with body armour, weapons and travel in big convoys?''
Dispatch 1: It's hard to tell the soldiers from the civilian contractors at Kabul airport
Dispatch 2: Headed for the frontline on the Afganistan/Uzbekistan border
Dispatch 3: Learning the hard way from IEDs
Dispatch 4: The long, trying sweep for IEDs
Dispatch 5: Good intentions pave road to hell
''that second blast can be just as potent, especially for brain injuries where you literally have your brain rocked so strong that it can get dislodged''