Afghan War Glossary
Books on Afghanistan
The military community uses a multitude and variety of terms, phrases, and expressions in its vocabulary. This is especially true in the Afghan theater of operations. Some terms, phases, and words are formal in nature while others are derived from common usage. This glossary is intended to assist those new to the Afghan theater or others unfamiliar with terminology or slang used by those working or serving in Afghanistan.
To search for the term, acronym or phrase
HA. Humanitarian Assistance.
HA/DR. Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Relief.
HAF. Helicopter Assault Force.
Hajigak Iron Ore Mine. The Hajigak Mine is located in Wardak province.
Hajii. A derogatory term used mostly in Iraq but carried over to Afghanistan. Don't use it; you will show your ignorance and cultural insensitivity.
HALAL Meals. Muslim version of MREs.
HALE. High-Altitude Long-Endurance.
Halo Trust. A British non-profit demining organization that has been removing mines in Afghanistan for years. Visit their website.
Hanafi School. One of the four Madhhabs (schools of law) in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Of the four Hanafi is the oldest and largest.
Haqqani Network. One of the Afghan insurgent groups. Read more at Haqqani Network.
Harakat-Islami. A group of Shiite muj who fought against the Soviet army.
Hazara. A minority ethnic group living in the central mountains of Afghanistan. Considered third-class citizens by the Pashtuns and widely discriminated against. They live in an area informally known as Hazarajat. The Hazara comprise about 10% of the population and are the third largets ethnic group in Afghanistan. Most live in the Hazarajat or in Kabul (about 30% of the city's population). They Hazara are of Mongolian descent and their forefathers arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Hazaragi. A dialect of Dari spoken by the Hazara. Hazaragi has minor influences from Turkish and Mongolian languages.
Hazarajat. That area of Afghanistan where the ethnic Hazara live - the central mountainous area of Afghanistan. The area is centered around Bamiyan province.
HBIED. House Borne IED. Or a bomb in a house.
HC. Humanitarian Coordinator. The Humanitarian Coordinator - a United Nations official - is appointed to coordinate both UN and non-UN international humanitarian action in liason with the host nation government. The HC is usually, but not always the RC. In which case, he/she is known as the RC/HC.
HCA. Head of a Contracting Activity.
HCN. Host Country National.
HCT. HUMINT collection team.
HE. High Explosive.
HEAT. High Explosive Anti-Tank round. Penetrates armor.
Hell Man. Another way of saying "Helmand" province.
HEP. Higher Education Program.
HET. Heavy Equipment Transporter.
HF. High Frequency radio.
HG. Hand Grenade (fragmentation).
HG. Host Government.
HH-60. Black Hawk helicopter.
HHC. Headquarters & Headquarters Company.
HIA. Heze-e Islami Afghanistan.
High Speed, Low Drag. Referring to areodynamics but actually referring to types of equipment that function great and/or look cool. Sunglasses, GPS, light-weight rucksacks that allow you to carry 100 lbs of high speed, low drag equipment, etc.
HIIDE. Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment. A biometric scanner that records iris and fingerprint data.
HiG. One of the insurgent groups in Afghanistan. The Hezb-i-Islami Group (sometimes called Herb-i-Islami Gulbuddin) is both a political party with members in parliament and the President's cabinet and with members in an armed militant insurgent group headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Hijab. A woman's dress in Islamic societies that covers the hair and body.
HiK. Hezb-e Islami Khalis.
HIMARS. Multiple rocket launcher.
HIPC. Highly Indebted Poor Country.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT). A pan-Islamist radical group that opposes democracy and modern electoral politics. Founded by a Palestinian jurist and is active in many Muslim countries to include Afghanistan. Find out more about HT at the Afghanistan Analysts Network here.
HKIA. Hamid Karzai International Airport. Named after a famous Afghan politician who wrote a book on how to run a corrupt government entitled "Bite the Hand That Feeds You".
HLS. Helicopter Landing Site.
HLZ. Helicopter Landing Zone.
HME. Home-Made Explosive.
HMFIC. The big guy in charge.
HMG. Heavy Machine Gun.
HMMWV. High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Sometimes called a "Hummer".
HMO. Health Maintenance Organization.
HN. Host Nation. As in the Afghans are "hosting" ISAF.
HNS. Host Nation Support.
HOA. Horn of Africa. A desolate place filled with misery, flies, and hot sand. The country of Somalia, located in HOA, used to harbor terrorists. Probably still does.
'Honey Trap Boys. Use by the Taliban of good-looking boys to become 'bacha bazi' and infiltrate the Afghan National Police to commit 'insider attacks'.
HOO. High Office of Oversight for Anti-Corruption (Afghan).
Hooah. What Army Soldiers say to a superior officer or NCO upon receiving instructions that were not understood. If a superior says "Hooah?" to you (note the question mark) you must answer back with "Hooah!" (note the exclamation mark). Some members of the military worry that the English proficiency of Army Soldiers is being diminished by the incessent use of "Hooah"; while others look at the practice as a form of harassment and intimidation. The Army has taken some unusual steps to designate "Hooah Free Zones".
HOTCHiCS. A new Army policy pertaining to female service members has been introduced. The new policy, "No HOTCHiC", will require Army recruiters to utilize an 'attractiveness quotient' when evaluating potential female enlistees. A recent study has determined that attractive females are less competent in their jobs; while less attractive females found within the Army have a higher level of job performance. Learn more about this new policy here and here.
HOTO. Hand Over Take Over.
HPA. High-Profile Attack.
HPP. Health Policy Project.
HPT. High-payoff target.
HQ RS. Headquarters Resolute Support. HQ RS will replace ISAF HQs in 2015.
HQN. Haqqani Network. A Pakistan-based insurgent group headed by Jalalani Haqqani.
HR. Human Remains.
HR. Human Resource.
HR. Human Rights.
HRC. High Risk of Capture.
HRC. See Human Resources Command below.
HRI. High Risk of Isolation.
HRM. Human Resource Management.
HRT. Hostage Rescue Team.
HSSB. Headquarters Security and Support Brigade.
HT. See Hizb ut-Tahrir above.
HTCC. Helman Twincle Construction Company.
HTML. Hyper Text Marking Language.
HTS. Human Terrain System.
HTT. See Human Terrain Team.
HUDA. HUDA Development Organization Afghanistan.
Huddle. A quick meeting.
Hudood. A strict criminal code (under Shari'a) that ordains harsh punishments such as amputations of limbs for theft, stoning to death for adultary, and lashes for consumption of alcohol.
Human Resources Command (HRC). This is the entity that failed to move from a peacetime personnel framework to a wartime personnel framework during twelve years of constrant war in two theaters. Its inaction had the unfortunate result of artillery officers advising Iraqi logistics officers on MiTTs, infantry lieutenants advising Afghan intelligence officers on SFAATs, Navy officers were advising the ANCOP, and Air Force officers advising the Afghan Ground Forces Command. HRC could have done a lot better.
HUMINT. Human Intelligence.
Hurry Up and Wait. Told to go to a place quickly but once you get there you found out you are an hour early.
Husky. An armored vehicle used in route clearance patrols to clear the roads of Afghanistan of improvised explosive devices.
HVI. High Value Individual.
HVT. High Value Target.
HWR. Human Rights Watch. If only the HWR would criticize the Taliban a little more!
HWU. Hot Wash-Up.
The definitions provided in this Afghan War Glossary are from many different sources to include publications, documents, and personal knowledge. In some instances, there are several definitions or meanings to a word or phrase.
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