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March 31, 2010 Permalink

Afghanistan, March, 2010

In Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, American forces are pushing forward, aiming to break the Taliban's hold on the city and southern Afghanistan. The number of foreign troops under US and NATO command is set to rise to 150,000 by August, with most of the new deployment heading to the south. Meanwhile, across other parts of the country dominated by insurgents, some U.S. efforts are now aimed at rebuilding and securing mobile phone towers. Taliban forces have destroyed or crippled some 200 of Afghanistan's 6,000 towers since 2008, isolating communities they seek to control. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (42 photos total)

Near the Kart-e-Sakhi shrine in Kabul, an Afghan girl passes by as a helicopter flies over during the celebration of Nowruz, the start of spring and the traditional New Year celebrated in Afghanistan, Iran and other countries of central Asia, on Sunday, March 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
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94 comments so far...

Best of luck to everyone over there! The guys in #21 are probably worthy of even more commendation than the troops. This series is one of the best things BP does.

Posted by kyle March 31, 10 01:00 PM

Great images as always, but I will refrain from picking a "favourite" one, but instead ask for many more years will we be looking at similar images?

Great job, Thanks.

Posted by Robert Zimmerman March 31, 10 01:05 PM

I listened to this band, they're really good!!
Greetings from mexico

Posted by Jorge López March 31, 10 01:14 PM

@Robert Zimmerman

Well I hope for many more years of images, just more of #21, #42, #6 and much much less of #27, #24 and #30.

Posted by A. Fischer March 31, 10 01:25 PM

Great pics as usual! btw Kabul Dreams has some great songs check them out if you like indie rock

Posted by Matthijs March 31, 10 01:40 PM

Always very thought provoking, thanks.

Posted by Frederik March 31, 10 01:41 PM

everytime i read this monthly pictures, i felt Afghanistan need to be heavily invested.

Posted by miloservic March 31, 10 01:46 PM

its nice to see MY mother land
no doubt full of beauty

Posted by Door andish March 31, 10 01:54 PM

Wounder full
amazing pictures

Posted by Doorandish March 31, 10 01:59 PM

Realizing the Nowruz culture influence on Afghanistan was interesting. By the way, an entry about Nowruz would be very interesting.

Posted by Blue Hen March 31, 10 02:06 PM

#7 aww that poor boy =/

Posted by thomas March 31, 10 02:11 PM


Well I hope for many more years of images, just more of #21, #42, #6 and much much less of #27, #24 and #30.

Posted by Ali March 31, 10 02:21 PM

No doubt there is still more crying to be done.

But it's clear that smiles are coming back to Afghanistan.

Thank you USA.

Posted by Jon T March 31, 10 02:34 PM

War is so wrong
US troops presence over there is so wrong
The look of the two boys on pic #15 is so wrong

Thanks for sharing these great pictures. It helps understanding another reality

Posted by Thomas March 31, 10 03:03 PM

the photos are amazing, but i cannot stop thinking... what the hell are the United States doing there????

Posted by Nicolas March 31, 10 03:49 PM

Great pictures as always. Nice mix between the ordeals of daily life for the afghans and the hard tasks the soldiers perform.

Posted by Jonas March 31, 10 04:29 PM

Les photos sont géniales , émouvantes , sensibles , spectaculaires .... De la vrai nourriture visuelle. Une pensée pour ces journalistes et ces photographes qui bossent dans des conditions (souvent) difficiles , pour des salaires de merde.

Posted by Yves March 31, 10 04:55 PM

@10: I agree!

Posted by NVF March 31, 10 04:55 PM

powerful images, thank you!

Posted by Peter Bulak March 31, 10 05:07 PM

The boy in #15 has an amazing look.

Posted by Azer March 31, 10 05:50 PM

#21: Interesting that all the nurses are male.

Posted by Amy March 31, 10 07:49 PM

#38 - Surreal, a photo of Danica Patrick on the ammo box of an Afghan Army machine gun.

Posted by David March 31, 10 08:09 PM


Could you please do a post on the humanitarian effort being done in Afghanistan. We all know there are brave soldiers fighting the taliban but the civilians are fighting an equally difficult war. Would love to see that side of the conflict that very few have access to.

Posted by Sriram March 31, 10 10:56 PM

I am completely baffled with the American Government. I don't understand them at all.
Are they trying to be heroes or what?
Don't they realize that the most dangerous thing any one can do is locking horns with a person who has nothing to lose?
Right now they may consider themselves some sort of heroes, but in a real sense they are only jeopardizing safety and security of American Citizens.
Americans have become psychological wrecks, looking suspiciously at everyone all the time.

Posted by Al-Ustaadh A. Moh'd. April 1, 10 12:29 AM

To Jon T (post 13).... What planet are you living on ?? "Thank you USA" ???

Um thanks for what ? Thanks for invading our country? Thanks for making even the Taliban appear decent? Thanks for tearing our country apart based on a pack of lies? Thanks for occupying our country like the Russians tried doing ?

Any thinking person knows the USA is on the wrong side of history on this one.

Thanks for the pictures... I'll aggree with that one though.

Posted by Matt April 1, 10 01:39 AM
Posted by Marc April 1, 10 02:36 AM

#3 looks like one of those pictures someone is going to misinterpret as oppressors herding natives to concentration camps.

Posted by kasakka April 1, 10 02:44 AM

#15. That kids head is too big

Posted by TonyG LBCA April 1, 10 02:47 AM

Well done.

Thanks from good old germany

Posted by Deltazwo April 1, 10 03:24 AM

#35 - "instructed to seize large opium stashes but leave farmers' poppy fields alone." But of course. American gangsters. lol Yankee go home!

Posted by Rj April 1, 10 04:19 AM

15 - 19 - 20 like a brick over my heart

Posted by Leo23 April 1, 10 04:26 AM

Fantastic pictures!
The one with the nurse of the month made me grin.. :D

Posted by Daniel April 1, 10 04:37 AM

These pictures are more hopefull then the other Afghanistan-Series before... Thx!

Posted by Matthias April 1, 10 05:17 AM

Great photos as usual but (for good reason) very America-centric. The "USA out of Afghanistan" readers are reminded that the ISAF coalition consists of 45 countries, representing nearly a quarter of the world's countries. The only ISAF member that suffered a direct attack from Afghanistan-sheltered forces was the United States.

Posted by Tom April 1, 10 10:35 AM

# 27 and # 30 - Catch 'em young and send them to die

Posted by Falana Dimka April 1, 10 10:42 AM

These photos are very ache to see! The poor men

Posted by Luciana ,Iara April 1, 10 11:08 AM

Great images from a beautiful country that has sadly seen its share of heartache. I would have liked to see some pictures surrounding the other militaries who are working to push the Taliban back; generally the Big Picture is great at covering stories with a less US-centric slant, but this time it seems to have focused on the American perspective. Great work, nonetheless.

Posted by Tony April 1, 10 01:41 PM

The country I live in however has a history of freedom of religion which I also interprete as freedom from religion in that if some new religious group becomes a majority I don't expect anything to change. In fact I would like to see less of the morality police in the laws we already have. Perhaps even allow some religions to have their own polygamy and others their polyandry for non-religious reasons even...

Posted by wildthing April 1, 10 01:55 PM

Disturbing images.

Makes real the real dimensions of the task Obama has put before us. Sure, we should help Afghans after Reagan and his helpers fed the Taliban for years, but are there any limits to this help?

Posted by Photophile April 1, 10 03:14 PM

Incredible. Just incredible pictures.

It is beyond epic what's going on over there.

Posted by T1Brit April 1, 10 05:11 PM

# 19.. very beautiful image from a incredible country

Posted by mak April 1, 10 05:20 PM

@ #39 Disturbing images - Reagan and his helpers fed the Taliban? I think you mean the Mujahideen, who drove the Soviets out. I suppose you think those poor people would have been better off under Soviet domination? Have you heard the stories of what the Soviets did to the people they invaded? Raped, pillaged, and destroyed are three words that fit the description. They ravaged that country. In contrast we are over there protecting the people, treating their wounds, and trying hard to help them rebuild their country and build a stable government of their own so we can leave.

Posted by freedomlover April 1, 10 05:49 PM

um, is it just me, or does it look like in # 22, the boys are "playing by spitting on each other?

Posted by will April 1, 10 08:12 PM

@ freedomlover
Are you brainwashed?

Posted by libdemo April 1, 10 10:48 PM

Just wanted to voice my appreciation for all those soldiers out there! Also, good job boston post, the pictures are great.

Posted by tbrown April 1, 10 11:18 PM

@#42 Reagan covertly fed the Mujaheddin with the largest covert CIA operation in history, and they devolved into the Taliban, the extremist organization that has been a curse on the Afghan people. An unintended consequence of cold war policy.

So it is good we are trying to help the Afghan people who helped us win the Cold War, and it is good we have cut back on civilian drone attacks that were making more enemies for us. But these photos make it clear how large the chasm is between our cultures, and I wonder if we should even think that we know what is best for their culture, let alone if we have an inkling of the regional consequences of this war.

Posted by Photophile April 2, 10 01:29 AM

Unfortunatly, America didn`t learned anything from the invasion from soviets in 1979, and know they are tasting the same cruel reality.
Back then afghans were helped by USA, now they are helped by Russia
but now people hate more USA then Russia, so its easy to see how it will be the end of this war.
Just one way, pull them back all way home.
Wake up american citizens and troops, your are just puppies in the hands
of the Big Corporations, the real terrorist are them, can`t you see that ?
Great pictures, congratulations.

Posted by Ricardo Silva April 2, 10 04:24 AM

It's horrible, strongly that its the end for them

Posted by Quentin April 2, 10 05:37 AM

US soldiers have lots of blood on their hands, what are they doing in there anayway?

Posted by Shane Parksey April 2, 10 08:42 AM

Its so sad that the people that are in Afghanistan have to put up with soldiers and war while trying to lead as normal as possible lives.

Hopefully soon the armies will leave these people in peace.

Posted by Rod Johnson April 2, 10 09:04 AM

Still... missing the poppies. That's the real "Big Picture" over there.

Gold rules.

Posted by TuffsNotEnuff April 2, 10 09:45 AM

nice photographs. good to see a rock band from afganistan...they have a long journey ahead of themselves...wish them well.

Posted by manraj , india April 2, 10 10:36 AM

@ A. Fischer

quote: "Well I hope for many more years of images, just more of #21, #42, #6 and much much less of #27, #24 and #30."

A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with but, alas, one I fear that is, based on the history of that messed about with country, an almost utopian one :-(

We can but live in hope.

Posted by Robert Zimmerman April 2, 10 01:20 PM

What are we doing there?? ..Have you forgotten that we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001??? That is what we are doing there!
Great job on the photos.

Posted by kmb April 2, 10 02:03 PM

"Hopefully soon the armies will leave these people in peace."

I hope so too. Have you read The Kite Runner? They certainly didn't have any peace before under the Taliban, and definitely no freedom. Under the Taliban they were no longer allowed to fly kites, keep birds, play with cards, shave their faces, listen to music (unless it was religious), no education, especially for girls, and the women could not go out without a burq'ha. Women were put to death for showing their ankles!!! It had gotten to the point where there was almost nothing you could do. I hope that we can give them the stability they need to live freely and in peace.

Posted by Rebecca Anne Calvert April 2, 10 05:31 PM

It's amazing to see that even in a battlefield, daily life takes place as usual.

My heart goes out to the Afghan people, who have already suffered too much.

Americans should understand that if they want to win this war, they'll have to reform the education, infrastructure and economic system of Afghanistan, and do more to improve the daily lives of ordinary Afghan people. Bombing it back to the stone ages simply won't work.

Posted by Sophistes April 3, 10 01:39 AM

There is beauty in this country...and trying to live a normal life in this country should be restored. We as Americans are trying to help this country realize that women and men should be allowed to live alongside each other in whatever fashion they choose.
Women should not be denied to be whatever they want to be, and do whatever they want to do, alongside men. I pray for a successful end to this tyranny, and if the United States of America is brave enough to help. then God Bless them...and God Bless all that work towards a truly free democratic country.

Posted by C. Payne April 3, 10 09:20 AM

pic.8 "The landscape of Afghanistan...", no, it's landscape of Mars...

Posted by michael April 3, 10 01:45 PM

post 30
if they cut down the popppy fields they are taking away the livly hood of the farmers. its what they were growing and they are only introducing alternatives slowly now. if you force them to burn/destry them, it may cause them to take up arms etc...

Posted by sgt. moore April 4, 10 09:40 AM

It worries me to think what the kids in #15 photos become when they grow up.

Posted by Ravinder April 4, 10 04:27 PM

USA, forgive and forget..... that's the only way to move on...

Posted by intet April 5, 10 01:04 AM

thank you

Posted by catherine in the UK April 5, 10 05:12 AM

nice very good pic Mashallah

Posted by Ali April 5, 10 03:06 PM

#37 Anyone else find soldiers playing Risk kinda ironic when generals and goverment are playing Real Life Risk with their lives?

Posted by just me April 6, 10 01:27 AM

i cannot stop watching photo no. 15 and the look in the little's boy eyes..

Posted by ms. April 6, 10 07:48 AM


When the young man was born he looked forward to life
He was vibrant and strong like his friends.
His parents they taught him the right from the wrong
He was peaceful and did not wish to contend.

As he grew and was strong in body and mind
He was schooled by his country to think,
To understand freedom and to love liberty
And never from his duty to shrink.

There then came a time when his country faced war
When the people were angry and afraid
He wanted to help them, to try do good
He joined the army and they gave him gold braid.

They say that in war the first casualty’s truth
He could tell that when he saw soldiers die
They were young men like him full of hope and of love
He asked himself, mother why oh why?

He saw as his enemy the US of A
The mightiest nation on earth
But their soldiers were young and brave just like him
The only difference – the land of their birth.

He saw them die bravely, in love with their flag
They refused to give up in the end
His freedom was found in his small Holy book
Theirs was family and friend.

A soldier will fight to uphold what is right
To uphold what he’s taught to defend
Shed his blood for his beliefs and his country
It’s their bodies on the line in the end.

Give thanks that these young men have courage
Shed their blood for the life we enjoy
He may look like an ironclad hero
But he’s also some moms’ boy from Illinois.

Remember that the dead are not just soldiers
Not just numbers for memorial and grave
They are brothers and sisters and children
Everlasting, they are heroic and brave.

Posted by Myrddin April 6, 10 11:50 AM

9-11 wasn't an inside job, but the lie that it was is. Small wonder all the Troofers go to Ivy League schools

Posted by Jeff DanLeoni April 6, 10 01:38 PM

@50 Its so sad that the people that are in Nazi Germany/Imperialist Japan/Fascist Italy have to put up with soldiers and war while trying to lead as normal as possible lives.

Hopefully soon the armies will leave these people in peace.

Just putting your statement in proper perspective.

Posted by Jason Wright April 6, 10 01:43 PM

What are they doing there? It's unbelievable that Americans can attack sovereign state without any legitimate reasons. Actually American military companies only need to produce new weapons for their benefit and Afghanistan is the convenient test place. Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, Iraq with weapons of mass destruction are all artificially created enemies. Surely, where to get oil when world resources descend? Where to test weapons with depleted uranium for example?? It's all about profit and it's interesting that all countries (at least in the northern hemisphere) all still quiet..
By the way - most of these pictures are really cool.
(sorry for my English)

Posted by Milan April 7, 10 10:26 AM

this one is very shad ley

Posted by rubalmd April 8, 10 12:00 PM

So, where is the war? Where are pictures of war going on? I see a couple of pics here and there of army movement, a little blood here and there. Where is the war? This is a joke and we do not need to be there. All we are doing is protecting the poppy farmers to keep the supply of heroin coming in.

Posted by jp April 8, 10 04:23 PM

JP you're pretty ignorant if you think we are over there to protect their heroin.
Farmers are paid to switch their methods and plant a different crop.i.e. wheat anything other than drugs which can be used by insurgents to further their cause.

Posted by justaLanceCpl April 9, 10 08:32 AM


Posted by GEGE April 9, 10 09:48 AM

Surely the short close quarter rifle in #12 must be worthless at long range fire support, and the ACOG is a poor substitute for a pair of binoculars.

Posted by BGE April 10, 10 10:05 AM

Go home Yanks

Posted by denis April 10, 10 10:11 AM

what a beautiful set of images from such a dismal, upsetting conflict. humans need to evolve from this thing we call war.

Posted by connor April 11, 10 11:40 PM

My twin brother is over in Helmand province Afghanistan. He is a US Marine.

Posted by julie April 12, 10 02:25 AM

No body likes foreigners ruling somebody, even they are doing good. They feel their pride is at stake. It would be good if US army leaves them. And war creates more enemies than friends. War gives more reasons to extremists to lure youth in their groups. Young children who have seen bloodshed right from childhood don't believe on rational arguments. The dark pictures and sentiments overrule their minds.

Posted by Sanjeev Kumar April 16, 10 08:18 AM


Posted by Amjad Khan April 16, 10 08:51 AM

My treasured brother, a Lance Corporal for the US Marines 3rd Battalion, was just injured in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan on 14th April. I am very relieved to say he and his fellow Marines survived the attack and he is now recovering (with extensive surgeries to follow) in Maryland.

God bless all our soldiers and Marines to keep them safe!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Linda April 18, 10 08:14 AM

God bless us the afghans and the poor soldiers. Leave our country alone. Don't protekt any political groups and let us rebuild afghanistan. We can handel it ourselves.

Posted by nazgol April 18, 10 05:49 PM

#34 What is the poor soldier aktually doing?! Quite symbolic, isn't it?

Posted by sajeda April 19, 10 11:58 AM

#18 I wonder why MREs don't have high fructose corn syrup but stateside we are hard pressed to find any boxed food without it.

Posted by 4nonymouse April 19, 10 12:25 PM

I just have one thing to say to everyone that wants to talk crap about the USA. First off I think you should watch what you say because it is not the USA that makes the decessions, it is our goverment. We can not control them any more than you can. I have been reading all of your comments and I have to say as a USA citizen it hurts my feelings that you all seem to be pointing the finger at me and the rest of the country. We did not decide to go there and we are not deciding to stay. I think that your comments should be addressed towards our goverment and not the US or our soliders. There are alot of people who do not like that our friends and family are there dieing. but we can't do anything about it. My husband is in the military and it scares me to death that his life is in the hands of someone else but that is life. When you get in your car to go to work your life is in the hands of all the other drivers on the road. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope that you make it there safely. It sucks but thats the way the cookie crumbles. I don't mean to sound like a drag but you all really should take the time to put yourselves in others shoes when you want to comment. I feel extreme sadness for all those who have lost loved ones. I have lost many in my life and it still hurts after years later. I think that we should really thank those people who have lost their lives and their families not try our hardest to make them look like bad guys. They were only following orders, doing their job. It is not their fault.

Posted by militarywife April 21, 10 03:09 PM

Intense photos........if I was younger I would serve my country too.

Posted by Nicole April 23, 10 02:57 PM

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Sir Edmund Burke

Posted by Lynda Henglein April 26, 10 09:39 AM

i am Nice T. Cosme, finding Robert Powers an army i love his so much
i need to find him please help me, he was also in a war but he never come back for me, i hurt so much, please help me, this is my email

Posted by yumie May 10, 10 08:01 AM


Posted by Anonymous August 14, 10 03:00 PM


Posted by Anonymous August 14, 10 03:20 PM

super lovely pictures, hop all forgieners leave this great land soon, wish peace for this Great nation.

Posted by patrick NORWAY September 23, 10 11:44 AM


Posted by ABDUL RAZIQ MANDO KHAIL October 5, 10 11:13 AM

all the these pictures that i have seen, there isn't sign of improvement since i left afghanistan in 1999; but in the other hand there are somethings to smile, people are living in peace. at least people are feeling more free campare to taliban revolution, that's what my personal views are, i hope one day our beautiful afghanistan is gonna become peace no fighting so we could go back to our afghanistan.

Posted by abdullah razaqi December 22, 10 10:28 PM

it was really amazing photos ......
thanks for sharing it was really joyful and thanks once again
and let me know . about the interpretor ...what is her nationality?

Posted by Zubair Mangal Paktiawal January 24, 11 12:36 PM

What is happening over there is for the greater good of the Afghan people. The reality is that collateral damage is sometimes unavoidable while removing a vicious enemy such as Al Qada & the taliban. The people are on their way to freedom. We are helping them to build schools, free markets, democratic structure, etc. To all the negative liberal hippie types insisting that we leave them alone, they would still be under the oppression of the taliban if it were not for our intervention and killing of those taliban operatives (that's the only way to deal with them). My fellow troops are all volunteers and we love what we do, helping good people to progress & killing the bad ones that don't want others to experience freedom & liberty. Stay out of the utopian kool aide/weed/mushrooms & hallucinitives &.....Leave the freedom fighting to us, If it were up to me, I'd like to drop you into a taliban stonghold & see how peaceful they are to YOU, but I guess we have to protect weaklings like you, its in my job description.......and to you liberal euro's, you all would still be in a world of hurt had it not been for America & our OUTSTANDING military men & women....

Posted by grunt311 March 11, 11 11:05 AM
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