Posted by: Christian | February 2, 2011

US Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Operations in Tajikistan

As a break from serious analysis:

That’s right: “The dynamics of TEH-jikistan are conflicted.” And “securing a dam” in order to “win hearts and minds.” Where have I heard that before?

So, yeah. It’s a video game by the name of “Operation Flashpoint: Red River” that’s set in Tajikistan. If it was real life I would probably be able to get a job when I finish up my PhD in August.

What do I think of the video game? Well, I only play games that are 2-D and scroll left-to-right (i.e., Super Mario Brothers, Sonic, etc…). That’s why I quit back in the early 1990s. But you can check out the website for the video game if you are curious about this British-made game.

As you can see, the game-play is set along the Vakhsh River (click pics to enlarge):

And somehow the fort from Hisor has migrated to the Vakhsh, and it’s bringing some fires with it:

The game’s final objective? A dam. Let’s just call it Nurek (Norak). Just don’t call it Kajaki:

So, not quite Nurek. But still pretty.

I checked out the screen-shots from the website. The houses and some of the trees mostly don’t look like those you’ll find in Tajikistan, even in the most remote khojagii dehqon in all of Vakhshonzamin. But who cares? It’s a video game.  Just kidding – somebody in Tajikistan will comment on why you made Tajikistan look like the bastard child of southern Afghanistan and New Mexico. You think Tajiks don’t play? Well, they do. When I was in Qurghonteppa my friend’s little brother (like 7 years old) was playing Counterstrike. His dad described the kid as a “killer” (lit. киллер).

Bottom line: if the game play is good then a few Tajiks will eventually play a pirated copy.

Anyways, this video game has been bombarding my Google News feed on Tajikistan for far too long. But the promoting has worked on me. Here, have another video peek (one that let’s you know that the People’s Liberation Army of China is in Tajikistan as well):

Hmm. Those insurgents didn’t dress like locals at all. And I though I stood out with running shoes and a back pack…


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