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November 25, 2009

Afghanistan, November, 2009

President Barack Obama recently announced that he was determined to "finish the job" in Afghanistan, and aides signaled to allies that he would send as many as 25,000 to 30,000 additional American troops there. Obama will formally announce his decision in a national address at 8 p.m. Tuesday from the Military Academy at West Point. As casualties mount on both sides, 2009 is shaping up to be the deadliest year yet for coalition troops - twice as deadly as 2008. American and Afghan officials have been encouraged by the recent rise of independent anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan, even though their emergence is recent and supporting them raises fears of the consequences of arming and training Islamic militants. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (42 photos total)

Cpl. Casey Liffrig leaps for cover while Lt. Thomas Goodman gets down as Taliban fighters ambush U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during a patrol in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province on November 3rd, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

An Afghan boy rides a horse as the sun sets in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Khadija, 40, sits in her cave early in the morning in Bamiyan on November 10, 2009. The cave dwellers here are all Hazara, who are religiously and ethnically distinct and survivors of intense persecution by the Taliban. Bamiyan, some 200 km (124 miles) northwest of Kabul, stands in a deep green and lush valley stretching 100 km through central Afghanistan, on the former Silk Road that once linked China with Central Asia and beyond. The town was home to two nearly 2,000-year-old Buddha statues before they were destroyed by the Taliban, months before their regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in late 2001. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan brick worker shows his dirty feet, after using them to mix the clay on November 6th, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Brick factories are a business that is still thriving. The land used is dry and barren which is perfect for the making of bricks providing work almost all the year round. A few years ago all factories changed from wood to coal causing further problems with pollution, the factories have been pushed out of the city limits because of this issue. Workers can make an average of USD 200 to 300 per month. For 1,000 bricks the factory will get about USD 45. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

An Afghan army soldier secures a road as a fuel truck burns outside Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. A supply convoy of NATO and coalition forces was attacked by militants near Jalalabad city, two of the tankers were set on fire and three others damaged. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

An Afghan girl looks out from the window of a helicopter on November 1, 2009 in the remote village of Maimai in Badakshan province. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

A German soldier watches as a defensive flare is fired from his helicopter to prevent missiles from hitting the aircraft, on the way to Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #

Afghan National Army soldiers train on a firing range at a U.S. army base in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

An Afghan boy bites the hand of an older boy who pushed him away as members of U.S. special operations forces hand out candy during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army in Afghanistan's Farah province, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) #

A U.S. Army soldier of A-BTRY 2/377 PFAR Task Force Steel sets leftover gunpowder on fire after a fire mission at FOB Tillman November 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

Bibi Adela, age 15, from Khost, grimaces in pain getting her wound treated on her amputated leg at the International Red Cross Orthopedic (ICRC) rehabilitation center on November 23rd, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Bibi lost her leg below the knee from a rocket attack 5 months ago that killed her sister and brother, injuring her mother as well. A recent U.N. report has described 2009 as the deadliest year in terms of civilian casualties in Afghanistan since the start of the U.S.-led war against Taliban in the country. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Taliban fighters pose with weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan October 30, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

German Shepherds are trained to become demining dogs during a morning training session at the mine detection centre (MDC) in Kabul November 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Jerry Lampen) #

A boy reacts with a laugh as he waits for customers at an animal market on a rainy day in the outskirts of Kabul on November 23, 2009, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan women wait in line at a CARE food distribution aimed at widows November 23, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The CARE monthly food rations for the needy gives the women 50 kilograms of wheat, three liters of cooking oil, one kilogram of salt and beans. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images) #

An American medic in the 82nd Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade gives CPR to a grievously wounded unidentified Afghan National Army soldier in a Medivac helicopter November 1, 2009 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The soldier had stepped on a land mine planted by insurgents severely wounding his legs. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

Medic Sgt. Bryan Eickelberg of Arden Heights, Minnesota, with the 82nd Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade, watches doctors work on a wounded Afghan National Army soldier that he had just brought in from the battlefield November 1, 2009 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The soldier later died of his injuries. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

An Afghan man monitors workers at an open air factory in the suburbs of Kabul, November 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Oleg Popov) #

Laurie A. Lewkowski, center, the mother of Marine Lance Cpl. David R. Baker, is overcome with emotion during the playing of "Taps" at his burial services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. According to military officials, Baker, 22, of Painesville, Ohio, died Oct. 20 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

Jamalo, age 14, from Ghazni, is lifted out of her wheelchair by her uncle, Abdi Hadi, in her room at the International Red Cross Orthopedic (ICRC) rehabilitation center on November 18th, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jamalo is now a paraplegic, crippled after her home became a battlefield during a violent attack between the Taliban and U.S forces over 5 months ago. She was inside her home during the attack when a rocket hit, killing 4 family members including her sister. She broke her arm and was hit by shrapnel. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

U.S. soldier PV2 John MacIntosh takes cover in farm field and scans the ridge line as Taliban fighters ambush U.S soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during a patrol in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

U.S soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division return fire after their patrol in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province was ambushed by Taliban fighters on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

An Afghan veteran and a staff member of the Military Museum stands next to sculptures in the museum in Herat, Afghanistan on November 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

Afghan children read from the Koran as they attend a traditional school held in an old synagogue now being used as a Muslim mosque in Herat November 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

An Afghan man waves as he rides with his friend in a self-made car on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, November 7th, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #

A man passes by Darul-Aman palace on October 31, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

U.S. military personnel watch movies on their laptops at Orgun-E Camp on November 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

An Afghan police investigator kneels next to the bloody, shredded body of a Taliban militant inside the international guest house after an attack on October 28, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taliban militants killed six U.N. foreign staff in the early morning assault raising serious issues about security before the Presidential run-off election in less tham two weeks time. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

A man waits to watch Bollywood film "Hathiyar" or Weapon, at the Ariana Cinema theater, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi) #

Families say goodbye to their Marines in the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom November 3, 2009 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Once in Afghanistan, the unit will fall under the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade -Afghanistan. Their mission will be to support combat operations as an artillery battalion. (Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images) #

Afghan National policemen look on as U.S. soldier Cpl. Joseph Dement, right, from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division helps train the police on how to apprehend a gunman at an outpost in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

An Afghan horseman looks on as his teammates fight to take possession of a headless calf during a game of buzhkashi on the outskirts of Kabul November 6, 2009. The Afghan national sport of buzhkashi is played between two teams of horsemen competing to throw a beheaded 30-kg (66 lb) calf, goat, or sheep into a scoring circle. Only the best players, the chapandaz, get close to the carcass in the competition, and the winner receives prizes either in cash or kind that have been donated by a sponsor. (REUTERS/Jerry Lampen) #

A worker goes about his job inside the empty seat of the Buddha, which was destroyed by the Taliban, in Bamiyan, Afghanistan on November 9, 2009. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Village elders gather to greet French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner at the remote village of Gandha Kazarai, Afghanistan on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Kouchner, on an overnight visit to the area, met with village elders for a traditional shura, or consultation. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

Afghan National Army soldiers pray in a French military tent set up as a mosque by a French Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (AMLT) in the Tagab Valley some 50 km east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

A member of the Afghan army music corps plays his trombone during a rehearsal at his base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. The Afghan Army music corps met for a final rehearsal before Thursday's inauguration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #

A young Afghan boy gives the thumbs down to a passing NATO French Foreign Legion convoy near Surobi some 50 kms east of Kabul, Afghanistan,Monday, Nov. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

Afghan men wait to have their photos taken at a checkpoint near the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Tillman November 24, 2009. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

Kylie Moffat (right) watches the coffin of her husband Corporal Thomas Mason, carried from Trinity Parish Church on November 5, 2009 in Cowdenbeath ,Scotland. Corporal Mason 27, was serving with The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, when he was struck by a improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #

An Afghan girl touches her mother's artificial leg the ICRC Ali Abad Orthopaedic centre in Kabul November 12, 2009. The center, which is run mostly by disabled people, aims to educate and rehabilitate landmine victims and people with any kind of deformities, to help them integrate effectively into society. They also provide the patients with a 18-months interest free $600 micro credit loan. (REUTERS/Jerry Lampen) #

An Afghan girl crosses a cemetery on the outskirts of Kabul, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #

A military helicopter takes off from the military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Clinton arrived to attend the inauguration of President Hamid Karzai. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #