OP Restrepo
Restrepo is the outpost the troops out of the bestseller War of Sebastian Junger build up. Restrepo is not just their outpost but also their home.

Things you build by yourself are you favourite things because when you use them you could be proud of yourself. It’s like when you build up a tree house in the forest and the same night you sleep in there. You don’t sleep in there because it’s better to sleep  than your own house you sleep in there because you’re proud on yourself and you want to feel how proud you can be on yourself. If you’re trying hard for something it needs to pay back and that’s why all the soldiers love the place of Restrepo. In the end it also got liked because after a time they started to like fights and Restrepo got more fire fights a day than the base.

Restrepo isn’t the most beautiful place on earth but it’s what people live in. It’s their home and because they built it up it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth for them.

Practicing golf during a break in the fighting
The book “Killing” was for me more interesting than the first book, “Fear,” basically because I feel that the act of killing has also the factor of fear in it. As I was listening to the podcast I thought of many points, but sadly every time I thought about them both of you started bringing them up and left me with only very few but interesting points to talk about. First I would like to respond to the points I thought were really interesting you brought up, such as our security, the feeling of killing, its consequences, and its reasoning.

During the first minutes of the podcast Mr. Brightman asks a question that says something like “do you feel safer if there are people fighting on these hostile areas in the world?” Mick´s response was exactly the same thing I´d answer, “Yes, of course.” I think that these brave people have chosen to risk their lives in order to secure international safety in such a complicated thing as terrorism, and therefore they deserve recognition as international heroes. I also think this because I could not see myself in such a situation because I think I wouldn´t control myself thinking of the fact that on me depends a good part of international security.

This theme also has to do with killing, and how a human being feels about killing. I think the art of killing has to do with the act of recognizing the so-called “good” and “bad” guys. For Battle Company the “bad” guys are clearly the Taliban insurgents as well as Al Qaeda. On the other part, for some Afghanis and other extremists, the U.S. military are the “bad” guys. I think this factor, mixed up with revenge, is the reason why people in general, such as, but not limited to the Taliban and the U.S. military kill each other. For example, the American troops attacked the Taliban fighters that planned the ambush in which two Americans died, basically because they felt they deserved revenge. They also mention that they did it so that there is less possibility of one member of the platoon to get killed, which also makes sense.

The first and second books clearly reflect objectively the consequences of war on individuals and of these same on a group environment who pass from not knowing each other to literally get extremely depressed about someone´s death. Therefore, this book is unique, and I look really forward to reading the third book, “Love.”

By Sergio Calderon

In today's class, Mick and Mr. Brightman discussed the second part of Sebastian Junger's War.  Since Sergio was not able to join us, we recorded our conversation for his benefit and for readers who are interested in following our progress through this unit.  Good luck at OLMUN, Sergio!  Enjoy...

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“One Platoon; One Valley; One Year” is the motto of the documentary “Restrepo,” directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger. Probably one of the best documentaries ever made about American troops fighting against Taliban insurgents in remote Afghanistan. “Restrepo” is a chronological report of one year about Battle Company, which fights in Afghanistan´s most dangerous region, the Korengal Valley.  Although it has a lot of things in common with Junger´s New York Times-Bestseller War, this documentary shows in a 93 minutes the courage, fear, and struggle of American soldiers in the Afghanistan war, as no other documentary has ever before.


During the film, the 2nd Platoon is ordered to defend an Observation Post (OP) named OP Restrepo, for Juan Sebastian Restrepo, a Colombian-born naturalized U.S. citizen platoon medic who was killed earlier during a fire fight. The film portrays the construction of the OP Restrepo advanced outpost, as well as the challenges and relentless firefights they faced while they managed to build the outpost from nothing in only one night. It also shows the challenges and decisions they have to face in order to target Taliban insurgents and not Afghan civilians, which often becomes a major problem. The film is a must-see because it also makes you think about the Afghan people and the consequences it has to their daily lives.

But one question remains: would you have the courage to fight in a place where one false step can become a catastrophe? 

By Sergio Calderon