Ghanzi Provence has some pretty decent indig persons....For the most part, the Afghanni is a hard working individual, trying to do the best for his family...However, doing the best for his family often comes in direct conflict with US/ISAF/Afghan Gov interests..The tribal ties in that country are stronger than anything though....Tribal ties have even caused some indig personnel to side with American forces against al Qaeda or Taliban forces, even at GREAT risk to themselves, their families, etc..
Study the concept of melmastya. It is called different things throughout the country, that is the Pashtun word. It is the act of giving kindness, protection, and support to ANYONE who asks it of a tribesman. ANYONE, be it al Qaeda, Taliban, rival village, or you Joe P Snuffy. They will take you in and protect you at all costs, failure to do so greatly impugns their honor and they will likely be thrown out of their tribe and turned into pariahs, if not killed. For a great example, read Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell, great book. This website
made by some intellectual types will give you some decent dope on the different groups in the country, as well as a map showing their general areas.
Mega bases, there are not many, but Bagram, is a HUGE base with everything you could want. Most of the fully established areas will have a decent sized FOB with MWR, internet, phones, etc. But again, being a scout, it is very likely you'll get dumped in the middle of BFE and have nothing but pen and paper...When the 82nd hit boots this time around they were broken up by Company/Troop and stashed around the country with a few large contingents at the main outposts.
also has some pretty good info and some decent (not very detailed) maps giving drug routes, problem areas, FOB locations, etc...There are some major roads that have been improved and are regularly patrolled as MSRs, however, in most of the country, the roads start at unimproved dirt roads and go on down to goat trails...Don't be suprised if you do some patrols on 4 wheeler/ATV type vehicles.
Pray to God, light a candle, do a dance, whatever is your bag, that you are not directly attached or working with ISAF. You will come to loathe them and 90% of the non-American/British forces in the area. They regularly bribe the Taliban and local warlords (well, we bribe the warlords too) and al Qaeda for 'protection'. They will pay to keep certain roads protected, causing the enemy to focus on others, namely the ones you will be using...They will not leave their camps, hell, some of them don't even carry weapons, or if they do, they are not loaded! If you've been to combat with your unit already, you know who you can trust, who you can depend on, and who will **** up among your officers. As always, watch your new guys, keep them close, but let them learn.
Watch very closely any ANG or AP personnel attached to you or that you are working with. Hell translators are also alaways suspect. You don't know how they are loyal to, who their cousins are, brothers, fathers, etc. etc. Watch them closely. But also watch yourself around them, they are a very honorable people, and if you are going to accuse them of anything, make DAMNED sure you are right. Remember that Afghanistan is rediculously impoverished and many things the populace will do are solely motivated by money, so they can feed their families. They will accept bribes from anyone for information, they will leave 'packages' in places for foreign agents, etc..Be careful.
Another good book to check out is called Jawbreaker by Gary Bernstein (I think, could be wrong here, but definate on the title). He is the the CIA that coordinated and is damned near single handedly responsible for the fall of the Taliban regime. He goes in detail about tribal alliances, changing tides between the warlords, and other things you should concern yourself with.
I suppose that is enough for one post, bounce any questions you come up with here or my PM, and if I can't help, I'm surrounded by those that can..