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February 26, 2010 Permalink

Afghanistan, February, 2010

In southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province, Thousands of American, Afghan and British troops entered Marja in the biggest offensive of the war, with the goal of destroying the Taliban's largest haven and restoring government presence in southern Afghanistan. Resistance was sporadic and fierce as troops seized positions around the area. Stricter combat rules and a concerted effort by the Afghan government and NATO forces were aimed at not only protecting the civilian population, but planning for the aftermath, building infrastructure, support and trust in an area long dominated by the Taliban. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Shane Hanley, a squad leader from Easy Company, 2-2 Marines, receives treatment by U.S. Army flight medic Sgt. Michael G. Patangan (left) while airborne in an army Task Force Pegasus medevac helicopter, shortly after Hanley was wounded, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan on February 9th, 2010. Sgt. Hanley, of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who agreed to have photos of himself published, sustained shrapnel injuries to the left side of his body, face and eye when an improvised explosive device detonated below him while he was on a foot patrol. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

211 comments so far...

It,s a tragedy. want quick war.

Posted by erick February 26, 10 11:41 AM

That last photo is heartbreaking.

Posted by Richard Faulder February 26, 10 11:43 AM

A stellar set of photos - even better than usual.

Posted by Vince Palermo February 26, 10 11:52 AM

43, it's a picture full of hope

Posted by Flavio February 26, 10 11:53 AM

BEEEAUTIFUL pics, love the 13. As usual, they are not only photos. They are messages (poems). They tell the beauty and the nonsense of our life...

Posted by Alfonso February 26, 10 11:55 AM


Posted by Donca Samus February 26, 10 11:56 AM

May God bless every soldier, regardless of their Nation.
Thank you for protecting those who can not protect themselves.

Posted by Guest February 26, 10 11:57 AM

Picture 30 and 41 are truly beautiful and sad. Look at the expression of the child on 30, almost completely unaware of the situation around him/her. Also, I really like picture 40... looks somewhat abstract but it also tells quite a story!

I wish all the soldiers would return to their lives and I wish all the best to the Afghan people, who also suffered a great deal.

Posted by DFanatic February 26, 10 11:57 AM

Always amazing pictures :) thanks guys.

Posted by Mark Thomas February 26, 10 11:58 AM

wow...this pictures are great. They really broaden the understanding and veiw of what is going on over there. 39, 34, 27, and 16 are especially moving to me. Seeing the beautiful faces of children amongst images of war really is moving and tragic. I hope and pray those children will grow up happy and loved.

Posted by Stephanie February 26, 10 11:58 AM

These works catch my heart...
In war, No one wins.

Posted by Stein Guo February 26, 10 12:00 PM

As always a fantastic collection!

Posted by Rupert Burr February 26, 10 12:02 PM

#37... :-(

Posted by troglo February 26, 10 12:05 PM

Beautiful mix of everyday joy, violence and sorrow in Afghanistan. The Dutch government just resigned because the issue of a longer troop mission in Afhghanistan tear the ruling coalition apart. My question: what is best for Afghanistan?

Posted by Bas February 26, 10 12:05 PM

Muy buenas! Terrible lo que pasa por allí!

Posted by Alan February 26, 10 12:06 PM

Stunning, what a waste this war is.

Posted by Andy February 26, 10 12:11 PM

Impressive as always... Love #15, #16 and #39: moments of hapiness amidst the fightings...

Posted by Will-E February 26, 10 12:16 PM

I would thank you for the service you are providing us, because these pictures remind me what is the WAR!

Posted by Giulio February 26, 10 12:24 PM

I see pictures like #37, and I hope that hell actually exists just so George Bush and Dick Cheney can spend eternity there.

Posted by idahogie February 26, 10 12:26 PM

Absolutely brother leaves for Afghanistan soon and these pictures remind me of the honor our soldiers and marines deserve. Seeing the ferociousness of their fighting, the tenderness with which they protect innocence and the love for their country brings tears to my eyes.

Posted by Andrew February 26, 10 12:30 PM

Como me gustan estas fotos.
Felicitaciones a todos esos abnegados fotografos por mostrarnos tan "bellas" fotos....

Posted by APG February 26, 10 12:35 PM

The Dutch are indeed pulling back from Afghanistan this year. They've been there since 2006. If you take The Big Picture as a reflection of the world, our 2000 soldiers won't be missed, as I haven't seen a single photograph of a Dutch soldier in any of the galleries here.

Posted by A Dutchman February 26, 10 12:46 PM

It seems that General Westmoreland's 'Search and Destroy' strategy has failed in South Vietnam. I wonder what President Johnson is going to do next...

oh, wait...

Posted by happy_person February 26, 10 12:47 PM

#11 of Kabul..... note that there is absolutely no green.

War.... so much pain.... so much death.....

Posted by Anna February 26, 10 12:47 PM

"May God bless every soldier, regardless of their Nation"???

Presumably you refer to that god whose first commandment is THOU SHALT NOT KILL..?

Posted by Soldier=Murderer February 26, 10 12:50 PM


Posted by CÉLIO MARTINS February 26, 10 01:15 PM

The number 39 its so amazing!


Posted by ugooh February 26, 10 01:17 PM

#35 is exactly why this war will never end: it's a crusade.

Both side are on a mission from their God to destroy the "unfaithful"

Killing in the name of a theoretical deity.

We still live in the Dark Ages.

Posted by religionisacancer February 26, 10 01:25 PM

"The horror... the horror...." (Cel. Kurtz)

Posted by JOSE February 26, 10 01:31 PM

Great set of photos, I love #39 ... great!

Posted by A. Swiss February 26, 10 01:36 PM

#39 made me cry...

Posted by sara February 26, 10 01:44 PM

Nothing to say

Posted by Anonymous February 26, 10 01:50 PM

#8 - I've never seen a ripped off arm before. Ugh!

#9 - "My graduation class!"
There is something unique & special about this photo.

#24 - I hope they gave the dog some extra biscuits. I don't think dogs care much for medals.

#35 - Idiot soldier (who wrote "GOD" on his helmet).
That can only serve to piss many people off. Why does his CO allow this? Some people are just brain-dead or clueless.

Posted by Jojo February 26, 10 01:53 PM

@25, you make war a platform for your agenda - are you any better?

#30, wow - haven't seen that on the 'other side'.

Posted by John Doe February 26, 10 02:04 PM

@Comment #25: Yes, and presumably the same God who is the "God of the armies of Israel", and who, among other instances, delivered Goliath into David's hands.
I suggest you learn the Greek behind the word "kill", as you used it. It does not forbid all taking of life.

Posted by outbri February 26, 10 02:11 PM

@idahogie: I hope you wish the same hell for the taliban and the 9/11 murderers too.

Posted by hildergarn February 26, 10 02:18 PM

"Presumably you refer to that god whose first commandment is THOU SHALT NOT KILL..?"

Seems someone forgot Ezekiel 21:12

"“Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. "

I am not a fan of quoting the bible in a discussion. But since you were so eager to do so, I thought I would point this out.

Posted by lol February 26, 10 02:24 PM

Nice pics. If Bush Jr. was still press. what would the comments be like?

Posted by Ravenhand February 26, 10 02:36 PM


Posted by u February 26, 10 02:46 PM

what a drag.

Posted by Ed February 26, 10 02:48 PM

To poster #25.....Thou Shalt Not Kill refers to murder not killing in general (at least the original Hebrew means that). If Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had only observed that commandment.

Posted by mmcdaniel17 February 26, 10 02:59 PM

ok, so #16 is what this country would be like if left alone. #26 and #37 is what the US made of it.

Posted by itmakesmeangry February 26, 10 03:07 PM

So sad, such a waist...
There are so much misunderstanding and misconception going on.
See this war veterans great speech:

Posted by Liz February 26, 10 03:35 PM

As lentes da verdade!

Posted by Livia (Brasil) February 26, 10 03:48 PM

i got the chills...for ever picture...

Posted by Brianna victoria sarefina sullivan February 26, 10 03:50 PM

I don't know why the americans think that soldiers are KILLING people in afghanistan because they're protecting them. Srsly i think that is so stupid. So what? Your life its better that afgahnistan people?.
Please try to watch the world with a different view and try to see what are your country doing. and stop soporting WAR!

Posted by Angel (Mexico) February 26, 10 04:26 PM

Many of these soldiers are serving 3rd, 4th, and 5th deployments. If we are going to continue nation-building and the doctrine of pre-emptive war, we must re-institute conscription of all our young men and women regardless of economic class, color, sexual preference, politics, religion, or disability (yes, the disabled can serve in a variety of non-infantry MOSs. Bring these soldiers who have served home, and restart the Selective Service Draft...or withdraw.

Posted by Imp2day February 26, 10 04:50 PM

35 — Crusader.

Posted by Jean February 26, 10 04:51 PM

I want to see the pictures that didn't make this collection. The ones on the cutting room floor.

Posted by Son of the Son of Sam February 26, 10 04:52 PM

Let's leave god out of this. 'Gods' are what we're fighting over. This is religion's fault. Plain and simple.

Posted by William February 26, 10 04:53 PM

I don't know why or how we allow ourselves to let this war go on...I do sympathize with ending terrorism, stopping the drug trade, and encouraging fundamental liberties for all people, do you reconcile these contradictions?

Posted by Alan D Lipp February 26, 10 05:05 PM



Posted by LUIS MINIER February 26, 10 05:10 PM

Very vividly pictured, as always.

Posted by Ankit February 26, 10 05:16 PM

If you've never been to war, these pictures will give you insight into how dirty it is! I saw an interesting quote the other day and I'm sorry I can't give credit to whoever said it:
"If you can't stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them!"

Posted by Mike Sutton February 26, 10 05:40 PM

These images are beautiful.
Even if the people making the decisions might be wrong, images of soldiers risking their lives for someone else (30) is touching. One day they can be home with their family, the next day they might be in heavy gun battle. They have my fullest respect.

Posted by Josef (Sweden) February 26, 10 06:00 PM

you photographers, do such an important job....

thank you so much, so much.
Your job absolutely has a meaning, and help uss to stay awaken. Helps us to learn, learn from what you see.

joy, tears or hope.


Posted by bob February 26, 10 06:15 PM

Every one beseeches God to be on thier side during a war. What a warped sense of spirituality. God is never on anyone's side. Viewing this in a spiritual manner will lead to realizing that we should be on Gods side.

Posted by Orville February 26, 10 06:33 PM

Fantastic photos.

For clarity sake #19 is actually a MQ-9 Reaper and not the much smaller, less powerful MQ-1 Predator

Posted by Keith February 26, 10 06:40 PM


Posted by Tais Kurtz February 26, 10 07:07 PM

While we are watching animals fight in pic 28, are we being watched by some higher beings?

Posted by I wonder February 26, 10 07:29 PM

God bless our troops! Those that lay down their lives so that we may live free! Awesome, simply awesome!!

Thank you God for your love for us, and we ask You for Your protection over our soldiers and their families. In Jesus' holy name, Amen.....

Posted by USPatriot February 26, 10 08:23 PM

Stalingrad,Somme,Verden....if only the soldiers who died in these battles
could talk to these soldiers (of both sides) who waste their lives now in Afghanistan for nothing.The only victims in every war are you and me, the simple people,'the soldiers'.The only enemy is their commanders and the leaders behind them.

Posted by terzo February 26, 10 08:35 PM

I love number 30, shows why we're out there.

Posted by cPalleon February 26, 10 09:05 PM

#16 and 30 give me hope that the children at this time can grow up with love in their hearts for ALL people.

A daughter of someone who was in Desert Storm, I support our troops and wish them home quickly and safely.

Posted by Meg February 26, 10 10:07 PM

19 and 33, you two can go f^$k yourselves! I did not spend 3 years with the 101st Airborne 22nd Combat and end up wounded while now walking with a cane and two braces-have gone through over 14 operations with another 15 to go, have over 40 pounds of metal holding my bones together and have a nerve disease (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Stage 2) just to have you two brain dead morons try and dis my country or my brothers and sisters in cammo. Guaranteed that neither of you have ever served in the military nor know what it is like to give your life or part of your body for your fellow man or woman. Until you do or are willing to pick up a gun and do a turn on "the wall" BOTH of you need to just STFU over stuff that you obviously have no idea what the he11 you are talking about. Better men then you could ever hope to be have given their lives in service so you could make stupid remarks. Both of you should bow your heads and thank whatever deity you believe in for the sacrifice of people like what you see in these pictures. Better yet, get your fat rear ends to a VA hospital and actually see what the cost of the freedom that you seemingly dont give a whit about, actually costs and why most of us hold it so dear. You two are pathetic and disgust me beyond reason.

Posted by Daniel February 26, 10 11:50 PM

34: Girl is beautiful.

Posted by Ben February 26, 10 11:55 PM

in a war both sides have victims.

Posted by Anonymous February 26, 10 11:59 PM


Posted by SLIMJIM66 February 27, 10 12:02 AM

You who tarnish the honor of being a soldier should be ashamed. Why would the US interfere unless to prevent harm on others? We wouldn't. This is to keep control. You should be thankful that some are brave enough to enter the US marine corps and other branches of our military to help prevent human harm. The control and killings of terrorist groups are a necessary evil. It saves many innocent and harmless lives.

Posted by Soldier=Hero February 27, 10 12:07 AM

I do not condone this war, or any violent act for that matter, but for those that are there, I hope for them a safe return.
Pic #30 is the one picture that shows the beauty of these men over there.

Posted by Jaythedogg February 27, 10 04:49 AM

War is ugly and these pictures really shows it. But they also show a hope that eventually everything will be good. I really love #30, 34 and especialy #39

Posted by Soren Bo February 27, 10 05:19 AM

even if horryfing subject, the big picture is a great internet resource, thanks

Posted by mmp February 27, 10 05:56 AM

39 - it's so heartrending.
And 30 is in such a way meaningful.

Just stunning.

Posted by Charly February 27, 10 06:09 AM

'Thousands of American, Afghan and British troops entered Marja in the biggest offensive of the war'

As usual the Brits get 3rd billing and few pictures in this set of photos, even though they have lost so many troops in Helmand and up until VERY recently they were the only troops there while other nationalities were in the far safer area

Lets reduce the bias and give credit where its due to all the forces involved in equal measure.

Also, where so many comments mention 'our troops' i hope they mean all the forces, not just American

Posted by Jon Betts February 27, 10 07:52 AM

A war made in a name of what? Nothing but money, oil and greed!

Posted by Peacemaker February 27, 10 08:03 AM

Thanks for covering all angles of a war that seems to be fruitless regardless of the outcome.

Posted by jim h February 27, 10 09:26 AM

Hoffentlich ist dieser Krieg bald zu Ende und unsere Soldaten können wieder nach Hause !

Posted by uwla February 27, 10 09:41 AM

Speechless! I love the #39 and the #40...

Posted by Joris February 27, 10 09:43 AM

Great job.

Posted by IMR February 27, 10 09:44 AM

For a species so good at killing itself off. It is fitting and proper we wage these battles where we gained our discord thousands of years ago.

Alas, to stupid to realize we only fight ourselves.

Commenter #62 is close to right, but it isn't the Commanders and Leaders who are at blame. This is our fourth President since we started in over there. Four Presidents and we're into the sixth term since it all began in earnest. The current President isn't going to resolve it and so it will be inherited by the next president in the seventh term. That's brings it to Five Presidents in over twenty-eight years. WAKE UP FOLKS! We are involved in the Middle East and Asia Minor up to our eye balls! We have been since before WWII and it isn't going to change. Not ever. If we don't get thrown out we stay for freak'n ever rebuilding this and that, that we blew up or otherwise rendered 'renovatable'.

Here's a point a lot of you either never knew or have forgotten. The conflict in the Middle East has been in the works since the 1970's. Forty years down the track and no one has shown any interest in stopping from continuing. Ya, ya, ya, as each President leaves office there is a great and noble press to secure, all together now, "Peace in the Middle East". Google, "causes for lame duck Presidents", and you'll find it way up there at the top of the 'things to keep busy' list.

It's taken us fifty years to get to the point where we can actually point a rifle, squeeze the trigger and watch and enemy fall. We've grown tired of a fight where some idiots rules prevent warriors from doing what they instinctively know how to do. Our elected in DC have little concern over our involvement beyond what it can provide them in network face time and Pork they can leach out the budget. The President at the top of the parade of clowns has little choice other than to suck it up, bend over and take it like the rest of the rank and file. They, each in succession, inherited it from the last guy, going back to Carter.

We've tied our military's hands with impossible scenarios since we've allowed Senators and Generals to instigate wars which seems to have been a fad since the late 1940's. Here's an analogy of how we've recently conducted warfare; If there were a fire burning which called for 100,000 gallons of water to extinguish, but the fire chief only permitted use of 25,000 gallons of water. One could expect the fire to burn much longer; consume more materials, to be much more difficult and dangerous for those directly involved. Is this not what Rumsfeld did to get us into Iraq?

This set of outstanding photographs document what occurred in the recent past on highly contested ground. They give a face to the neighbor in country, the enemy they bravely engage and the people enduring the profound hardship of war on their soil. From those standing duty at the FOB at the end of the line to the green recruit we owe these fine and honorable people much. Words fail me when attempting to properly convey the gratitude felt in my heart to those who stand and serve.

In #30 of the father and child behind the soldiers. Are they appreciative of the effort or are they simply enduring our presence as they did the Taliban and Russians before? What lasting impression with the child carry forward into adulthood? How will they consider us then?

It would be easier to maintain a colony on the moon than it is to underwrite Israels safety. We, and they, are fortunate this is a matter of conscience and not pragmatic realities.

Posted by Hue Mann February 27, 10 12:04 PM

Sad... it just make me sad. Was that necessary...

Posted by Swissguy February 27, 10 12:26 PM

#39 , she seems like she still scare of him.She is going to give that flower and then run away

Posted by Sahin February 27, 10 01:00 PM

This is by far the most beautiful set of photos from Afganistan... # 20, 28, 34 and the 3 last pics are amazing.
It's a shame that young soldiers die because of America's foreign policies, based on greed and financial gain over any poor country which has important natural resources... Of course I sympathize for the Afgans slightly more, their struggle is at least justified. I would also fight against ANY foreign troops that invaded my country.
May peace come to this destroyed country.

Posted by apoelistas February 27, 10 01:29 PM

Impresionantes imágenes!!!! Me encanta este sitio web!

Posted by Daniel February 27, 10 01:43 PM

Reply to #51 -- Alan D Lipp --

If you "sympathize with ending terrorism, stopping the drug trade, and encouraging fundamental liberties for all people" then there's one fundamental truth you MUST understand: NONE of us WANT war!!

Unfortunately, only SOME of us understand that the only way to stop people who are committed-unto-death to the death and denial of the fundamental liberties of others, is to grant those terrorists their death-wish. There is simply no other way to stop them!!

Posted by Craig Harriman February 27, 10 03:23 PM

Amazing photos of an ugly reality.

George Bush should be made to look at such photos every day, all day.

Posted by scott February 27, 10 03:37 PM

#41 the big man crying, most emotive photo

Posted by mryba February 27, 10 03:47 PM

Picture number 30 shows it all.......Our Soldiers putting their lives in front of civilians protecting them....What a wonderful picture that should be shown everywhere....

Posted by Debbie February 27, 10 04:58 PM

#38 - How anyone can serve in the military, or view photos such as that and still be racially prejudiced is beyond me.

Posted by Pres February 27, 10 05:52 PM

to emotional woords no express my sad feelings

Posted by Yalda February 27, 10 06:57 PM

One word.... Wow!!

Posted by Marie February 27, 10 09:21 PM

the girl in 34 is going to be so pretty.

Posted by Derek February 27, 10 09:26 PM

how come they never publish pictures like the one where the marines are protecting the father and son, or the one where the little girl gives the soldier a flower.

Posted by US Marine Corporal February 27, 10 09:29 PM

Notice how there are now pictures of American coffins... I guess Bush's law is still in effect. Other that that, pretty tragic. There is no such think as a quick war.

Posted by kenzie February 27, 10 09:40 PM

@33 His CO allows him to write "God" on his helmet because Americans believe in freedom of religion. Assume he believes he is doing the right and trying to help people, and now you're the one who looks ignorant.

Posted by Cork February 27, 10 10:05 PM

#37 Such a young looking woman, hard to believe that she has lost a son in war operations My she gather strength to carry on... sad just so sad.

Posted by Flipx1000 February 28, 10 12:56 AM

This photos are very depressing and this shows the waste and destruction men can do to his brethren and to nature...So sad!!!!

Posted by JORGE G. SANTOS February 28, 10 01:00 AM

Great pictures...
Typical results of war...
Its a much kinder war than WW2 was....
Civilians where targeted to destroy the morale
of the enemy nation....
Dresden was a typical example that war is hell...
God bless our soldiers who are fighting for freedom
for this nation....particularly for the freedom of the Afgan women
who are treated like dirt by the Taliban..

Posted by Garrett Mayer February 28, 10 02:15 AM

What's the difference between AMericans and the Rusian. Do they mean bringing peace to a country with different history and culture. or share death and blood from their own? Bingo from

Posted by bingo_from_rapiddigger February 28, 10 02:15 AM

Qué espantosa es la guerra.

Posted by Ariel February 28, 10 03:05 AM

et le doute ?

Posted by Alizé February 28, 10 03:14 AM

Great set of photographs but the lack of Afghan civilian casualties seems totally unfair to me...

Here are two sets that will show you what the so called "big picture" left out:

Afghan Civilian Casualties:
Afghanistan’s Agony:

Posted by Betillo555 February 28, 10 06:37 AM

the photos are very impressing ... they show, how stupid war is ... why are there still so many people in the world, that do not realize, that war is not a solution at all, but self-defeating? I will never ever understand that ...

Posted by Ronald February 28, 10 09:17 AM

War is dark matter...

Posted by michael February 28, 10 10:10 AM

beautiful pictures,but why do you need that for?
pls american friends,go home,and leave that afgan ppl alone!

Posted by mike February 28, 10 12:30 PM

Professional photographers are having a hard time nowadays as more and more media resort to free or cheap photos taken by amateur photographers. The photos shown here in The Big Picture prove how essential the pros are to our knowledge and understanding of the world.

Posted by Nicolas Janin February 28, 10 01:38 PM

so sad to see this is happening right now=(

Posted by Ariadna Soto February 28, 10 03:41 PM

god is our refuge

Posted by Anonymous February 28, 10 03:54 PM


Thank you. For serving to keep us free. And for setting those who do not appreciate your sacrifices straight. I constantly feel I owe a debt to my country and countrymen and women who fight bravely every day to protect what I love the most. And I will never be able to thank you enough.

Posted by Perrry February 28, 10 06:17 PM

I was born four years after the war to end all wars in 1922. I am now 87 and there has been some kind of war during my entire life including World War 2 and Korea in which I participated. These magnificent photos show that man has learned nothing about how to prevent wars. Will we never learn from history that war solves nothing except to cause pain and suffering? It might be time for our world leaders to themselves meet on the dueling ground and directly solve their problems instead of causing so many of their citizens to suffer for them. Amen and amen.

Posted by Bent Egon Berner February 28, 10 10:15 PM

This war, like all wars,is a religion based war. Each "True Believer" insists that theirs is the only correct one and that others can only be converted or die. When it comes down to it, money and power are the religion of the greedy. The people with the most and biggest weapons win. anyway that's their theory and they're sticking with it

Posted by Tygon Wu February 28, 10 10:34 PM

Just want to appreciate your work. Thanks a million.

Posted by Anonymous March 1, 10 01:44 AM

gluhovie fotki

Posted by samara March 1, 10 03:13 AM

It's really a shame so many people's views of this war lack nuance.

Maybe #16 could exist if the invasion never happened. But what about #34 and #39? Could those have? (Hint: No.)

Or what about #30? They are protecting that man/boy.

Yes. Wars are ugly. Yes people die. Should we have gone to this war? Maybe. But it's always such a shame to see that the modern Western(tm) mind can only see things in black and white, when wars tend to be an interesting shade of gray....

Posted by Ashton March 1, 10 03:31 AM

"Cuando la pena nos alcanza
del compañero perdido,
Cuando el adios dolorido
busca en la fe su esperanza..."

Primeros versos del himno a los caidos "La muerte no es el final"
"When sorrow strikes on us
from the fallen comrade
when the grief goodbye
looks in faith searching for hope..."

These are the first verses of the spanish hymn for the fallen "Death is not the end"

Posted by Radius March 1, 10 06:21 AM

These photos remind of the heartache and the loss one feels when thinking of a loved one over there and the "life" they "live" fighting for others freedom and for ours. It reminds me of the silence I have heard for the pat 2 and half months from my boyfriend in the 82nd Airborne....not knowing if he is alive or wounded or worse because he is in heavy combat. It reminds me of all the sacrifice our men and women make on a daily basis.....Forget 2011, bring them home in 2010. Enough is enough. We've done our part.

Posted by Tracey March 1, 10 08:02 AM

Heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. Even as wars become more difficult to fight thanks to ever changing "rules", the blood and pain will remain forever. It's still the soldier on the ground who has to bear the brunt of this, no matter how "high-tech" the battlefield becomes.

Posted by utah March 1, 10 08:42 AM

I'd like Congress and all the talking heads supporting these wars to serve a tour in Afghanistan.

Posted by Sam March 1, 10 09:50 AM

no end in sight.

Posted by lucas March 1, 10 10:40 AM

I like #30. Shows sheepdogs in action.

Posted by furiousC March 1, 10 12:45 PM

Reply: 42 "ok, so #16 is what this country would be like if left alone. #26 and #37 is what the US made of it."

You're absolutely ignorant to believe that #16 was what it would be under the Taliban rule. Please refrain from further posting before you humiliate yourself.

Posted by drew March 1, 10 12:56 PM

The tears roll down my cheeks and an ache settels deeper somewhere beyond my ribs. A strong portrayal.

Posted by Heather March 1, 10 01:35 PM

Touching, truthful photograps. The horrors of war: destruction of a country, city life in spite of war, death and suffering of people (Western soldiers, their relatives in Europe and Nort America...) Playing with Jorge Luis Borges´s words, things happening in a time we cannot understand at all. ("Juan López & John Ward", "Los conjurados", Buenos Aires, 1985)

Posted by Antonio Titos March 1, 10 02:32 PM

Touching, truthful photograps. The horrors of war: destruction of a country, city life in spite of war, death and suffering of people (Western soldiers, their relatives in Europe and Nort America...) Playing with Jorge Luis Borges´s words, things happening in a time we cannot understand at all. ("Juan López & John Ward", "Los conjurados", Buenos Aires, 1985)

Posted by Antonio Titos March 1, 10 02:33 PM

WHY WAR???????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by Camila (Brazil) March 1, 10 03:02 PM

As an afghan we love all the people in the world and we dont want war, we tired of war, may the war will finish soon and we will return to our country; both sides dont want to lose thier sons thier brother and thier relatives. Nice shots

Posted by Abdul Qudooos Durrani March 1, 10 03:13 PM

to be fair to the guy in #35, it just says "God," it doesn't say christianity, christian god, jesus, or anything like that. afghani's believe in god as well, and his helmet could be interpreted as a sign on unity as much as can be considered divisive.

Posted by Jim March 1, 10 06:19 PM

God Bless all those men and women fighting and protecting all of us.

Posted by Barry March 1, 10 10:48 PM

War has never looked so sexy, horrible, sad, scary and cultural.

Posted by Me March 2, 10 12:40 AM

my From is iran .

Tank Usa For Free Afghanestan

green green

Posted by Mosavi March 2, 10 02:13 AM

#43 excellent photo

Posted by w March 2, 10 06:56 AM

Big picture - best website i have ever visited!!!

Is there any way to see all the photos that take place on Feb. 17, Feb. 18 and January 27 this year?


Posted by Rastko Pocesta March 2, 10 08:35 AM

Ok, time for that naive, oversimplified, uneducated opinion... let's just stop this war right now and bring our boys home - NOW! If you all understand why we're there again then you're better than most of us. These are loyal young people putting their lives on the line for some very obscure, if not selfish, reasons. Please send these people back to their families and back to protecting our own land. Please!

Posted by Peace Please March 2, 10 10:59 AM

they came with tanks, coppers, hummers, drones and all high tech machinery's and just to kill the farmer's living in a mud house..i really don't understand what is the purpose of this war.

Posted by ashraf March 2, 10 01:28 PM

We must remember them every day, they need that just as we need them to protect us every day!

Posted by John M a combat Veteran March 2, 10 02:58 PM

Freedom at it's development!

Posted by Dave March 2, 10 03:32 PM

Well done.

Posted by Frank Reynolds March 2, 10 03:32 PM

I am saddened by so many uninformed comments.

The Taliban, who controlled Afghanistan, backed Al-Qaeda attacked the US during the 9/11 attacks. The US invaded Afghanistan in order to thwart the Taliban. Nobody in the US really cared much about the Taliban before the 9/11 attacks. War is hell, but when a country is attacked it has the right to defend itself.

The war in Iraq was begun under completely different circumstances. Iraq did not attack the US, nor is there any evidence that it supported Al-Qaeda. In fact there is evidence that Saddam Hussein was opposed to Al-Qaeda.

Now, the question is how to create a stable government (or at least semi-stable) so the US can pull out of Afghanistan. This isn't very easy since the country has not been stable for a very long time due to many other countries invading Afghanistan (British, Soviet Union, etc...). Also, there is the question of opium, the main source of income for many Afghanis, which is used to create heroin. Unfortunately, much of the world including the US has ridiculous views of drugs (other than alcohol and caffiene) so just letting the Afghanis continue to harvest opium is a big deal.

Anyway, I wish the people of Afghanistan well and our troops well. I hope peace and stability will prevail soon and that the US (and all the other nations) can go home and the Afghanis can govern themselves in their own fashion (which hopefully gives women rights, too).


Posted by Craig March 2, 10 06:09 PM

Those people, who supports war and doesn't enlist themselves voluntarily in military service (if he is able for military service)and doesn't go to serve in Afghanistan,don't have any moral rights to wright here or anywhere in support of troops .
Your lies ,your BS are not accepted.You are not gonna fool anyone except your coward , selfish selves.
Anyway, I wish to every solder to stay safe and come back home to join them family and love ones.
God bless you guys!!!

Posted by Former solder of Soviet Army G,K Verdian March 3, 10 06:15 AM

i like pic no 39,a sign of friendship,let us be friends then,let us be brothers and sisters and not fight.

Posted by 4 peace March 3, 10 08:56 AM

Americans says the soldiers are protecting US??? In Afghanistan??? Where is Al-Quaeda??
Wake up, yanks!
Soldiers are protecting oil!

Posted by wake up yanks March 3, 10 10:34 AM

i donot like pic 28,they shouldnot do that if they are real Muslims.our Prophet(upon him be peace and blessings of God) prohibhited using animals for fighting and to watch them for fun,can't these people think of the feelings these animals,they have feelings like humans,they are afraid of being hurt,they are afraid of being killed,don't hurt them just for ur entertainment,but take care of them and be merciful towards them as our Prophet said"Show Mercy to those on Earth,The One Above has shown Mercy unto you" and as God says in the Quran"There is no creature in the heavens and the earth,but they form communities like you",they too have feelings,use them for their wool and their milk and other good things that they provide,but be merciful unto them.

Posted by show Mercy March 4, 10 02:51 AM

My father-in-law was born in a place close to Kabul, in the erstwhile undivided India. He had shown me pics of Kabul and Jalalabad. They looked so beautiful. People were cheerful and happy. Looking at the Kabul and the rest of Afganistan in these pics, one feel depressed and sad. Thanks to Pakistan and the Saudi-bankrolled Taliban, this paradise on earth is lost for ever.

Posted by Seethi March 4, 10 10:24 PM

On the N° 19 there is an error in the description.
It's a not a "Predator" drone but a MQ-9 "Reaper" drone (much bigger and with a different tail).

Posted by Seth March 5, 10 08:55 AM

R.I.P Kn Johan Palmlöv and Lt Gunnar Andersson.

/former soldier in Swedish artillery force.

Posted by Jp March 5, 10 02:56 PM

When will the human race ever evolve past using death and destruction as a means to an end. Governments jealously guard a centralized energy resource (oil, nukes) in order to fund themselves while bypassing their people. We are all pawns in a govenrment's control of the masses through religion and war. Who else can legally harm its people.

Posted by Let's evolve today! March 6, 10 11:00 AM

#30 shows clearly who is GOOD. I love you Americans for being so brave. It's a shame the author of comment 37 can't understand this picture. There are other ignorants too who don't see Talibans are BAD and they KILLED people long before Americans tried to help. Same in Iraq. Maybe you understand if I explain you like this: if a crazy sniper or serial killer starts killing innocents, is it against GOD killing the sniper to protect more lives to be taken? It's difficult to understand and it requires some deep thought, but I hope you will. Best regards and thank you USA, I am proud of you.

Posted by Cesar Mello March 7, 10 12:19 AM

We are wrong.
We are wrong.
We are ・・・

Why do not it notice?

Posted by japan March 7, 10 05:32 AM


Posted by Anonymous March 7, 10 06:26 AM


Posted by Anonymous March 7, 10 09:34 AM

なぜ始まり どうやって終わらせたかだ

Posted by Anonymous March 7, 10 10:09 AM

every picture says more than thousand words, absolutely affecting.

Posted by GuyFromGermany March 7, 10 10:25 AM


Posted by Anonymous March 7, 10 10:53 AM










Posted by Peace March 7, 10 05:43 PM

There is only one truth. Every death is not hoped for.

Posted by Imagine from Japan March 8, 10 07:45 AM

we should make peace world for a young children.

Posted by Anonymous March 8, 10 07:46 PM

"#30 shows clearly who is GOOD...There are other ignorants too who don't see Talibans are BAD and they KILLED people long before Americans tried to help"

It seems you have conveniently forgotten who funded and armed these Taliban and Al Qaeda "Bad guys" in the first place. USA armed and facilitated the influx of arab fanatics into Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion. Now its fighting the very same monsters it helped create.
Military myopia is a perpetual problem with the USA. It never learns from history and keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.

Please don't kid yourselves by thinking US is there to "liberate" Afghanistan. Its there as a reprisal to Al Qaeda's terror activities.

Posted by John March 10, 10 04:03 PM

True American heros. We can never thank them enough

Posted by Jake Kemper March 10, 10 11:54 PM

Afghanistan, February, 2010...
Last month, I wasnot forgot doing.
In Afghanistan, No, No,the World is a lot of people sad.
Now, and even just now.
It should not be forgotten.
After shedding a tear, do not forget.

Posted by Mai March 11, 10 12:25 PM


Posted by Anonymous March 11, 10 08:03 PM


Posted by shin March 11, 10 08:20 PM

#65....thankyou for your service and sacrifice!

Posted by Paul Frocchi March 12, 10 10:19 AM

muy buenas

Posted by Anonymous March 12, 10 10:28 AM

N'oublions jamais que des hommes se battent pour que la Paix règne sur la planète, au delà de l'absurdité de ces quelques mots - prions pour eux. Que Dieu les protège.

Posted by Roland de BARNIER March 14, 10 07:02 AM

it`s so funny when people use the PETROL or OIL argument, there is no OIL in Afghanistan bunch of retarded, its in Irak

Posted by Jeremy March 14, 10 09:21 PM

Very emotional and very blunt and very.... real. Well done.

Posted by Kait March 15, 10 03:01 AM

Our occupation is only making more enemies, and Obama hasn't "changed" anything... No end in sight..

Posted by Camus March 15, 10 09:41 AM

I agree with President Obama who said on national news ..."nobody bent their arm to serve" we have a voluntary service....

Posted by Robert Daddario March 15, 10 10:20 AM

30.... 31 .. 43 the best for me..

war... war never changes :(

Posted by achaj March 16, 10 04:27 PM

Awesome pictures that cover all aspects, heroes, every single one, whatever nationality, and to those who have fallen, rest in peace. I honestly wish I was still serving but will carry on doing my bit through "Help for Heroes" in the UK.

The very best of luck to everybody who does their bit, wherever you may be.

Posted by Stew ex British Infantry (1 R Hamps) March 17, 10 04:23 AM

Absolutely amazing work. You have found beauty in such a bleak place...thank you for this work. Keep going, keep posting.

Posted by Coley March 17, 10 07:31 AM

#30 - This photo says a lot about how much the men and women in the US military will do to protect the lives of others - not just Americans, but innocent civilians too.

Posted by Jen March 17, 10 05:48 PM

The Marine in #35 is, in fact, a Christian. *GOD* written on the back of his helmet is personal--God has his back; HE is his protector. That Marine engages every day in a war he did not start, but has committed to fight. Every day that he wakes up and goes to work with this helmet on is a good day because it means he hasn't returned home severly injured or fallen. The photographer traveling with his unit chose to take and share the shot.

Posted by Erica March 18, 10 09:55 AM

extraordinarias fotos que reflejan la crudeza y estupides de la guerra

Posted by Yaolli March 19, 10 04:47 PM

war, pride, hatred, greed, killing, brainwashing - come out of it... every humans needs are very little, lets just smile & work hard to take the entire world ahead.... the money spend on war technology can bring water, food & shelter to some parts of the scarce world....... pray to god & fellow human beings to bring peace & happiness for all....

Posted by Prakash Anand March 20, 10 04:33 AM

"Wars are the engines of history."
Humanity is cursed by a tragic flaw: no matter who you are, someone, somewhere, right now wants what you have and will use violence to get it or simply hates you enough to kill you.

There is nothing you can do to appease all that would do ill unto you or wish it to be done. The choice is to allow it, to submit, or to fight.

Posted by Dave March 20, 10 02:36 PM

Afghan Guns will never rust.If you are a friend to them they will serve you to the last breath, if you are enemy then only God can help you. Leave my country ASAP.

Posted by Afghan March 22, 10 12:34 PM

War is just another part in life, is it good? no, but it will always be there as long as people think freely. just as hardships and personal problems are always there. Unfortunatly unless you want to somehow control everyone in the world, war is inevitable. I also want to thank these soldiers for doing their duty I have a lot of respect for them. I do not hate or think that war is a good part in life but it's a part of it nonetheless

Posted by thomas worlton March 22, 10 01:28 PM

どうすればいいんだ? 世界は狂ってるよ

Posted by japan March 22, 10 11:37 PM

so sad pics,,,,,,,I hope it well end and all people of Afghanistan will live in peace,,,and the all the heros who fighting there against terrorism can come back savely to there families ,,,am from Iraq and i live in the usa now ..

Posted by suma March 26, 10 11:19 PM

Most of the comments are idiotic! Jeremy is talking about oil. wake up yanks also comments on the same.
The only one with sense is Craig posted Mar 2nd.
Afghanistan was attacked after the 9/11 attack on the USA! Afghanistan was a place for the masterminds to start their planning and train Al Qaeda
Ultimately we the USA facilitated their planning by letting them go thru flight training in the USA!
But Americans need to wake up and smell the coffee!! I was not in NYC or DC on 9/11 but still get angry everytime I see the video of bodies falling to earth after jumping out of the twin towers.
I agree Iraq was a big mistake George W!! If we would of placed the emphasis on Afghanistan that was placed on Iraq we probably would not be fighting these wars and Osama would of been dead by now. Plus the momentum of the foreign fighters would of most likely died with him.
Where we are now is no easy answer.
I support the troops who have been tasked and wish them a safe return home!!

Posted by Vic US Army Retired March 27, 10 03:46 PM

There are so many uninformed rants on this blog. Let me just put some facts across to everyone. There is no oil in afghanistan; The Taliban are still in Afghanistan; Al-Qaeda cannot be defeated through military action as they are a terrorist group, the Taliban however, can be; Whoever posted "we are wrong" or "this is an unjust war" are wrong, The war in Afghanistan is not a blunder of US foreign policy, the US was attacked on 9/11 and the UN ratified the US intervention into afghanistan as an official retaliatory action, so it is not some illegal war, Iraq on the otherhand is different; The US and its allies are not in Afghanistan for "natural resources" as some people have posted, they are there to restore security and restore stable government so it doesnt become another rogue state, and finally, all the comments saying, cant we all just stop fighting and get along are naive to the extreme, if we left afghanistan tomorrow, all our progress and effort will be for nought, as the Taliban will return and the country will be come another rogue Islamic state. The Taliban dont want to stop fighting, and never will until the "corrupt west" is converted or destroyed.
People are delluded ,especially in western countries, because of our technological solution to battlefield problems. They think that we can win a quick war by using our superior technology and battlefield prowess. The "War" in afghanistan is not a war at all, it is a counterinsurgency, meaning that it will take time, and lives, and money, to fix the problem. Just like the other successful counterinsurgencies of the past. Like Malaya or Northern Ireland.
As to the photos of Afghan civilians killed, War is war, and as sad as it is to say, firepower brings collateral and spillage. But no other war is any different, this has happened since the very first humans fought each other, innocent people get hurt.

Posted by MilitaryHistorian March 27, 10 08:07 PM


Posted by YASU April 2, 10 12:44 AM

For those of you that think it is important to show the civilian casualties I simply ask that you consider how many civilians die when our enemies target Markets with suicide bombers. Or how many people live in terror everyday under the oppression of the Taliban. You can rest assured that our men and women do everything they can to avoid civilian casualties sometimes at the cost of their own lives. The same cannot be said of our enemies.

Thank you for posting these pictures everyone suffers in war it is important to understand how much pain the families are forced to endure. Thank God for the Soldiers!

Posted by Brad ONeill April 14, 10 12:02 AM



Posted by k*chuck June 6, 10 02:41 AM

To the ones that want the Afghan Civilian casualties shown and attached links to the sites: Did you actually read the comments on the bottom of the pictures? All of those pictures were of Afghans injured by the Taliban, and not the Coalition forces. Nice try to make it out like somebody was hiding something. Try again:

Posted by Vern June 7, 10 02:07 AM

It's too sad. That is my first impression.
Man learned nothing from past wars.

Civilian, child and baby are on hopeless pain, on the other hand the author of wars like politicians, military merchants and the greed are on safe and more rich.

Man can't stop wars.
Because for a part of man, wars are chance to make money.

Posted by Tm June 8, 10 06:23 AM

i would like to say something. America in 21St century have the Ticonderoga to find people like OSAMA BENLADIN ... but why thy couldn't find him? that is because he is not in Afghanistan any more he is enjoying his quiet life back in America or somewhere ales as his motion is complete to give nick name to each Muslim a terrorist and kill them for just because thy fight back for thy are country for ISLAM is. Is there any one can tell me why America attack IRAQ? i well say just for oil and see what is going on with the oil thy steal from IRAQ its leaking from BP they can't stop it now. ooooooh may ALLAH teach those cruel people a good lesson.

Posted by hash June 30, 10 12:21 AM

Much respect and gratitude to the armed forces.....and a safe return to home

Posted by SO July 6, 10 06:41 PM

Picture #30 is my favorite one!

It is the main thrust of COIN.

Posted by Melody July 26, 10 01:21 AM



Posted by Anonymous August 7, 10 09:04 AM

# 30 is ... that little kid doestn even know why! he must be afraid :-(

Posted by Dsntmatter August 10, 10 09:17 PM

that was very sad pictures when can i go back in my hone afghanistan i miss afghanistan

Posted by farhad naseri August 14, 10 09:33 PM

Beeindruckende Fotos.
Die einen nachdenklich stimmen sollten.

Posted by the-joker August 17, 10 05:26 PM

i liked that i mean i wish i get achance to be amarine

Posted by canan kam August 31, 10 02:20 PM

thats really good and interesting and excellent photos and show all them the naked facts about afghanistan and the result of war during more than 35 year .
withe the hope of peace and peace and peace .......
thanks million for this good photos .
eshagh karimi from afganistan _living in iran at this momonent .
well done

Posted by eshagh September 7, 10 12:23 AM

so sympathetic

Posted by Anonymous September 7, 10 04:58 AM

The fact that people actually find beauty in these pictures is the reason why wars never cease to exist.

Posted by Anonymous October 6, 10 09:59 AM

I for one see beauty in the photos as this takes me to a place where I've never been. The photos give me a glimpse at the hardship and tragedy that is war. Thank you to everyone out there risking their lives. Not only to the soldiers but also to the photographers who go out to those truly dangerous areas and capture these moments - I see beauty in that

Posted by anon October 29, 10 03:44 PM

dear amirican freind war is not the way to brink the peace in afghanistan &also ur distination is not that to brink the peace in afghanistan .every one understand that u came to afghanistan tobe ale fight against russian via military po

Posted by sharifi November 6, 10 02:03 AM

Since we do not all share the same political idealogies, religion and cultural beliefs, and since some particular persons, race, tribe, religion, culture would want to excercise domininion over another or feel more advantaged and supreme than the rest, there are bound to be more wars and more.....lives would continue to be sacrificed on the slabs of fighting. Lets make no mistake to think or expect an end to wars until the close of the present age. As for the American GI's who have died in Afghanistan, that is the price they have to pay for the expansionist policy of their country.

Posted by Tosin Abiola November 15, 10 02:13 AM

my husband went to Afghan while most of these pics were taken. His friend, a very good and close friend was killed over there. These pictures open the eyes to those who want to think we are not doing any good. We are helping a country that pleas with us to stay. God Bless every service man and woman that has fought for our great Nation. The ignorant comments are here to do nothing more but upset us, don't let them bother you. If you do and you lash out they win. They get exactly what they wanted.
I pray each and every day for our guys out there fighting and I pray even harder for those Gold Star families. Their sacrifice is the greatest of all. My best friend is one of those Gold Star Wives. Our Country is amazing, and it is only that way because of the brave. Those few brave men and women who take the vow to defend and fight no matter what. Against all enemies foreign and domestic. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS. GOD BLESS AND WATCH OVER OUR GOLD STAR FAMILIES.

Posted by devildogWife November 20, 10 02:33 PM

Simplemente triste que siendo tan maravilloso el mundo en que vivimos desperdiciemos nuestro tiempo haciendo sufrir a la gente.. este es uno de los momentos donde mas unidos debemos estar. Lo mas maravilloso de este planeta es la diversidad en todos sus aspectos... disfrutemoslo, no lo destruyamos.


Posted by virginia November 21, 10 07:59 PM

we have messed up the earth, its environment, the air , the water resources, the vegitation and the rest that planet earth will not be able to sustain life for the next few decades. but we are not concerned about our home, the earth.
we fight with our narrow views enforcing them on the others hastening total loss of life on the earth. and to add to this is
the hatred that is spread by narrow views of the muslim world conditioned by the childhood teachings of hatred seems to have the sole aim of eliminating any and everyone who does not believe in their is time for the entire humanity irrespective of religion, cast or creed to act for the freedom of humanity...the fire is spreading much too faster than one can think or imagine and soon it will engulf your so called personal home and the planet.

Posted by dss January 4, 11 10:18 PM

i am japanese

I am 13 years old still.

We took up the tomahawk in the name of the justice.
Where in this photograph is the justice?

And, when the war is ended, Grand Poobah shouts so. "We end this war it in the name of the justice. "

Japan doesn't have military power now.
The reason for the justice is that it is not to the war.

Posted by Anonymous January 9, 11 01:39 AM

I'm so ashamed that I will forget about them easily.

I'm living here,and will live.
Someone is living somewhere,but he may not there tomorrow...
...Why did we begin the war?

Posted by Anonymous January 20, 11 09:42 AM

# 39 doesn't mean: "I like you!"
It says: "Please, lay down your arms, and let me grow up in peace and live in freedom!"
"Don't exploite my country and kill my parents!"

Posted by expatriate January 23, 11 07:28 AM

# 39 doesn't mean: "I like you!"
It says: "Please, lay down your arms, and let me grow up in peace and live in freedom!"
"Don't exploite my country and kill my parents!"

Posted by expatriate January 23, 11 07:28 AM


Posted by モリ February 13, 11 02:34 AM

These photos also taken by US side.

Think. Some day, Suddenly US soldiers invade your country, and broke into your house by the name of justice.

Every wars can see the stars and stripes, every wars.

Every time , It's start with USA.

Every time , You seeds and you harvests at others fields.


Posted by someone not US March 3, 11 10:03 PM

Amazing pictures! As a veteran of these wars i have seen many of these images with my own eyes. Some still haunt my dreams!

Posted by M.R.M May 3, 11 04:21 PM
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