|May 3, 2010||Permalink|
A recent Pentagon report on the situation in Afghanistan over the past 6 months gives the impression that while things aren't necessarily getting any worse, they are far from improving. Afghan citizens, when polled, showed only limited support for their government, and a slight majority placed the blame for instability on Taliban forces. There remains a heavy reliance on international forces to provide security, training and equipment. As of March 31st, there were approximately 133,500 foreign troops on the ground in Afghanistan - 87,000 U.S. forces and 46,500 international forces. This month also saw the departure of a U.S. military presence from Afghanistan's notorious Korengal Valley, a small, isolated, patch of difficult terrain where 42 soldiers lost their lives over the past five years. NATO is calling the move a "realignment", focusing efforts on more-populated areas. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)
An Afghan detainee sits in the entrance to a bunker while under guard by US Marines from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, inside their base in Marjah, Helmand province, on April 7, 2010. A single Afghan man was arrested by US Marines near the site where a roadside bomb blew up early in the morning, with a false Pakistan passport, two different Afghan identification cards, some wires wrapped on a few batteries, an old rifle and pamphlets of Taliban activities in Marjah. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)
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