Afghanistan, August 2011


Afghanistan, August 2011

August 19, 2011 http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011
Each month in the Big Picture, we post a collection of photographs from Afghanistan.  They feature American forces and those of other countries, and they show us daily life among the Afghan people.  In June, President Obama declared that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, which set in motion an aggressive timetable for the withdrawal of American troops. However, the fighting has spiked in some regions of the country. On Aug. 6, the United States suffered its deadliest day in the nearly decade-long war when insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.  According to the United Nations, 360 Afghan civilians were killed in June alone.  The surges of violence reflect how deeply entrenched the insurgency remains even far from its strongholds. The war continues.  – Paula Nelson (42 photos total)

Villager Juma Khan meets with the provincial district governor and fellow villagers at a shura, or consultation, on July 23 at the US Marine Patrol Base Salaam Bazaar in Helmand province, Afghanistan. As mentors with the international coalition attempt to phase out their involvement and put Afghan institutions in the lead, the Taliban continue to gain strength in many of Helmand’s northern communities, where legitimate Afghan governance is more of a plan than a reality. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

A village elder holds prayer beads during a shura in Kajaki, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 28. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Now Zad District Governor Said Murad Sadtak hangs his head during a shura with villagers July 23 at US Marine Patrol Base Salaam Bazaar in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The Afghan government officially took control of security in the capital of Helmand last month, as Western influence wanes. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Afghan security forces join the Bravo and Delta company, 2-87 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team as they are about to begin a ground and air assault operation in Kandahar province on the night of Aug. 14. According to Major Kirby Dennis, an operations officer, the five-hour operation resulted in the capture of two suspected Taliban leaders and assorted bomb-making components. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

US soldiers from Bravo Company and Afghan security forces prepare their weapons before boarding a Chinook helicopter in Kandahar province on Aug. 14. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan security forces and US soldiers from Bravo and Delta Company conduct final exercises before boarding a Chinook helicopter for the night operation in Kandahar province Aug. 14. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan army soldiers pray after breaking their fast on Aug. 14 at a military base near Herat, Afghanistan. Muslims across the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.(Hoshang Hashimi/Associated Press) #

 

An Afghan soldier prays at a military base near Herat. (Hoshang Hashimi/Associated Press) #

US soldiers from the Bravo and Delta company, including one in a tattered uniform, listen to the final briefing before rolling out from a forward base in Kandahar province during a ground and air assault operation in Maiwand district on Aug. 14. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

US soldiers from Bravo and Delta Company transport suspected Taliban insurgents to the Forward Operating Base Pasab in Zahri district, Kandahar, on Aug. 15 following an overnight raid. According to Major Kirby Dennis, operations officer, the operation will reduce the insurgents’ offensive capability. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US medic, accompanied by an interpreter, examines a captured Taliban suspect, who is awaiting interrogation at the Forward Operating Base Pasab in Zahri district. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan National police officer observes what’s called the “Green Zone” from the watch tower of a US-Afghan outpost in Makuan village in Kandahar province. Coalition forces have dubbed the area near the Arghandab River and Highway 1 the Green Zone because its thick vegetation often serves as cover for insurgents to make bombs and launch attacks. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan children gather at a vegetable stall along Highway 1 in Kandalay village in Kandahar as US soldiers from the Third Brigade and Afghan National Army conduct a joint patrol on Aug. 8. Nearby in Kelawai village, US troops had launched missile attacks on Taliban targets, killing at least three and capturing two insurgents. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Riyaz Ahmed (left). a refugee, runs away with a kitten he caught Aug. 9 at a camp in Kabul. In addition to those taking shelter within Afghanistan, about 2.7 million Afghans have fled to Pakistan and Iran, said the UN refugees agency. (Dar Yasin/Associated Press) #

An Afghan money changer counts Pakistani rupees at the exchange market in downtown Kabul on Aug. 10. The Afghanistan afghani currently stands at 47.1 against the US dollar, and 0.550 against the Pakistani rupee. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghani money changers stack bank notes at the exchange market in Kabul. Corruption and attacks in Afghanistan, combined with unstable markets worldwide, have shaken the Afghan economy. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan boy holds his face as he throws himself backwards to a stream of water in Kabul on Aug. 10. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters) #

Staff Sergeant Steve Whelan, 26, cradles the American flag as his 101st Airborne unit lands at Fort Campbell, Ky., Aug. 11 after a deployment in Afghanistan. The unit was part of President Obama’s 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Specialist Phillip Garcia (center), 27, of Kingsville, Texas, looks out the window as the plane lands into Fort Campbell, Ky. Garcia was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Staff Sergeant Adam Hendrickson (left), 29, of Winter Park, Fla., tries to fit his assault rifle into the overhead compartment upon boarding a flight at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. He is heading home with his unit of the 101st Airborne Division after completing its deployment in Afghanistan on Aug. 11. President Obama plans to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

First Lieutenant Nikesh Kapadia (center), 24, of Queens, N.Y., waits with comrades of his 101st Airborne unit to go through customs at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan. The unit is returning to Fort Campbell, Ky., after its yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Staff Sergeant Matthew Graham, 26, of Kennesaw, Ga., watches a movie on his laptop computer while riding out a layover at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, as he heads home on Aug. 8 after completing a deployment in Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Sergeant First Class Nathan Marshall (center), 30 of Kahoka, Mo., takes a look at a mural commemorating the World Trade Center at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, as he waits with fellow soldiers for the flight home. His Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, was included in the last brigade to deploy as part of President Obama’s 30,000 troop surge. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

At the end of his deployment, Specialist Christopher Aust, 25, of Harrison, Ark., takes a picture of a rainbow at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, while awaiting the next flight for his return to Fort Campbell, Ky. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

US soldiers talk to Afghan elders during a joint patrol with Afghan soldiers at Kandalay village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Aug. 8. US forces have been accelerating their counterinsurgency efforts to battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Captain Max Ferguson plays with Afghan children during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers at Kandalay village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Aug. 8, while US troops launched missile attacks on Taliban targets in nearby Kelawai village killing at least three and capturing two insurgents. US forces push their counterinsurgency efforts to battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

US soldiers keep guard near a canal running thru Highway 1 on the outskirts of Kandalay village in Kandahar province on August 6, as part of a mission to secure southern Afghanistan’s strategic roadway against Taliban insurgents’ placements of improvised explosive devices (IED). According to Captain Max Ferguson commander of Charlie Co., a Taliban was killed while trying to place IED some 800 meters from the area where soldiers were sealing off the road culvert with iron grids and barb wires. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Specialist Aleksander Trares (right) and Private Lane Shinogle from the Third Brigade Combat Team wake up next to their 60mm mortar following attacks by Taliban insurgents on their checkpoint in Kandalay village, Kandahar province, on Aug. 5, 2011. US troops and Afghan forces repelled the attacks. Since the checkpoint was set up two days earlier, Taliban have staged several attacks. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Troops from the Third Brigade conduct a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers in the center of Kandalay village in Kandahar, as a firefight against Taliban insurgents erupts in the outskirts of the village on Aug. 4. The 140,000 strong US-dominated international military in Afghanistan is engaged in a massive drive to train Afghan police and army to take over before all foreign combat troops leave the country in 2014. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US soldier from the Third Brigade passes an Afghan family outside their mudhouse during a joint security patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers in Kandalay village on Aug. 4. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Corporal Amanda Mosher, an Army flight medic from Cheyenne, Wyo., tends to an Afghan policeman wounded by a road side bomb as he is evacuated on a helicopter over Kandahar on July 30. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press) #

A soldier from the Third Brigade carries ammunition at a checkpoint Aug. 5 in Kandalay village in Kandahar province. US troops together with forces from the Afghan National Army earlier repelled Taliban insurgents attacks on the checkpoint, which protects the western area of Kandalay. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division fall in following a transfer-of-authority ceremony Aug. 5 at an outpost in Paktika province, Afghanistan. The Fourth Brigade unit of the division is returning home after a year in Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Colonel Sean Jenkins (left), commander of the 506th Infantry Regiment, says goodbye to Major Ed Brady before boarding a plane to begin the trip home upon completion of a deployment Aug. 7. Jenkins’s unit, part of the 101st Airborne Division, left a forward base in Paktika province, Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Soldiers with the Fourth Brigade Combat Team say goodbye to Sergeant John Kohne, 47, of San Diego as they begin their trip home on Aug. 6 from a forward base in Paktika province. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Sergeant Randy Shorter, 33, of Long Beach, Calif., arrives with his unit at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan after leaving Afghanistan on Aug. 7. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Sergeant Dave Carbary, 24, (center) of Sterling Heights, Mich., waits with fellow soldiers to have his luggage checked by US Customs on Aug. 8 at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, on way home after a year in Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Private Dillon Wall, 19, of Muldrow, Okla., holds his US Customs form while listening to instructions to check his bag at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, as he continues home after leaving Afghanistan upon completing a deployment Aug. 8. The Fourth Brigade Combat Team’s 3,000 troops operated in the eastern Paktika province to maintain security along the mountainous border with Pakistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Soldiers with the 506th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 101st Airborne Division, begin the first leg of their return home, boarding a plane at a forward base in Paktika province. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Member of the Fourth Brigade Combat team are returning home, but they are not coming back whole. A memorial plaque sits atop of a box carrying framed photos of the 19 comrades killed in action during the brigade’s yearlong deployment. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

Specialist Benjamin Knapp (right), 24, of Madison, S.D., and Major Douglas Moore, 40, of Columbus Ohio, peer out a window as their C-130 plane takes them and other members of the Fourth Brigade homeward bound from their forward outpost in Paktika province. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

 

Major Robert Born, 37, of Burke, Va., takes a nap on a pile of luggage in the back of a C-130 plane as he begins the trip home after leaving Forward Operating Base Sharana in Paktika province. His yearlong deployment in Afghanistan is ending. (David Goldman/Associated Press) #

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