Naval War College Review


What could be both more poignant and ludicrous than Commander Abdul Baqi Balots’s account of his survival of a firefight in which his closest friend was killed? “I saw a lot of Soviets coming at me and they were all firing (they put ten bullet holes through my baggy trousers).... Habib Noor told me that, un- less we crossed the stream to the north, we would not be able to engage the Soviets. . . . I ran across and jumped but landed directly into the stream. ‘Oh, Al- lah,’ I cried, ‘you have killed me without dignity.’ Then I made a big jump, I don’t know how since even a tank can’t clear it, but I did and got out of the stream.”