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November 1, 2010 Permalink

Afghanistan, October, 2010

With the U.S. troop surge now nearing its peak in Afghanistan, more than 150,000 US and international troops are now on the ground. 64 of those troops lost their lives this month, as forces pushed hard into the southern Kandahar Province, traditionally the heartland of the Taliban. At the same time, preliminary discussions are beginning to take place between the inner circle of President Hamid Karzai and members of the Quetta shura, the leadership group that oversees the Taliban war effort inside Afghanistan. Part of the current coalition strategy is to continue applying pressure on the Taliban in the fields, and encouraging their leaders to participate in hoped-for settlement talks. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (48 photos total)

Afghan firemen hose down a burning oil tanker after an explosive device planted underneath it exploded, on the Jalalabad-Torkham highway, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
more photos
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167 comments so far...


Posted by Taktiker November 1, 10 01:26 PM

Amazingly powerful

Posted by Andi Rusyn November 1, 10 01:28 PM

Awesome pictures as always, great shot from a not so beautiful history

Posted by Leandro Cortiano Elias November 1, 10 01:30 PM


Posted by sang November 1, 10 01:32 PM

This war is a neverending madness.

I hope our soldiers can all come back soon. And alive.

Posted by Np237 November 1, 10 01:35 PM

Nice Picture
Peace From Indonesia

Posted by Nur Choliq November 1, 10 01:37 PM

"Mommy, can I go out and kill tonight?" is the most disturbing of all the photographs for me.

Posted by Tony Meister November 1, 10 01:38 PM

absolutely brilliant work, congratulations to y'all

Posted by Sara November 1, 10 01:40 PM

#21 .. sick

Posted by trip November 1, 10 01:41 PM

My favorite is #26

Posted by mangoed November 1, 10 01:43 PM

Picture 9: they're training by pretending they have guns? Oh dear.

Posted by Melodie November 1, 10 01:44 PM

#4 is an INCREDIBLE portrait, one of the best I've ever seen, if not the best, I'm loving it! Thank you Alan!

Posted by Ricky November 1, 10 01:45 PM

Powerful and moving, as always.

Posted by Ian Livesey November 1, 10 01:46 PM

So very very sad and painful.

Posted by Tim November 1, 10 01:47 PM

wow. always impressive quality

Posted by ChrisB November 1, 10 01:48 PM

Look into the eyes of those children and tell me this war is worth it.

Posted by Ellen E Schaefer November 1, 10 01:53 PM

Month after month I see these photos of Afghanistan. Of Bloodshed and tears. When will this war end?

Posted by Justin November 1, 10 01:56 PM

How is it that there's no very very PUBLIC, visible to all people passing by, a huge counter of the death toll since these wars started in the times square or DC or a very public place like that?! People just seem oblivious to how a trickle of dead bodies everyday day after day, year after year has added up into a huge number of dead men who died for a cause that's not even clear anymore in the public's mind! Bring them back home!

Posted by D November 1, 10 01:56 PM

The sadiest things is that we (western world citizen) are all coresponsible of this war, and I do not see us going against the root causes of it.

Posted by lothar November 1, 10 01:58 PM

In light of this, I find this soooo appropriate...

Posted by D November 1, 10 01:58 PM

Some amazing pictures.

Posted by Aira November 1, 10 02:07 PM

The bigpicture shows the real picture of war- NOT PRETTY

Posted by Dana November 1, 10 02:23 PM

Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? Amazing pain there are in this images.

Posted by Anonymous November 1, 10 02:27 PM

My God please help this people out from this

Posted by Agi November 1, 10 02:34 PM

some images could be agressive,shock(?) for some people. you may put the option to not watch if sb dont want


Posted by toni November 1, 10 02:44 PM

Although it's way, way too late, I have a faint hope that Blair, Bush and the handful of sick individuals who've become rich from this appalling conflict will see just a handful of these photos and feel deeply ashamed. Like I said, it's a faint hope, and even as I write this, I realise it's probably too much to hope - not that they'll fail to see these striking, moving images, but that they'll feel any degree of shame. As a Briton who voted in the Blair government that went on to help inflict this misery, I hang my head in shame.

Posted by andyjh2 November 1, 10 02:56 PM

Its not a surprise to have NATO forces in a place where is the largest production of opium and NATO controls that. China, instead, hold Burma under their control for drug production. That is why soldiers of different coalition dies there. All other excuses are fake in this present day madness

Posted by Alexis Papadrakis November 1, 10 02:59 PM

Very sad!

Posted by Lelkoun November 1, 10 03:05 PM

Thank you for these photos. Powerful.

Posted by Lulu November 1, 10 03:08 PM

Yeah bring everyone home so we can all die in our respective countries...

Posted by Barack November 1, 10 04:15 PM

What I see in these photos is an inordinate level of suffering by citizens of several nations (USA, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden) to bring a fundamental level of rights to a thoroughly backward civilization. I am equally proud of and humbled by the efforts of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of others.

Seeing these faces (#8, #14, #20, #29) reminds me that these efforts are not in vain, that there are real people that stand to benefit from long term success against the Taliban and Al Queda.

Posted by PhilR. November 1, 10 05:26 PM

The soldier's represent their respective countries and do more harm than good when they do sick/twisted stuff like #26. The immorality in #21 and #26 is part of the reason some Afgan's don't want outsiders there. They don't want your horrible morals and godlessness shoved down their throats in their own country. "Oh yes Afghans please be like us please embrace our pornography, same sex marriage, liquor stores, atheist-ism, etc, etc, etc. Yes this separation of church and state is working really well." (sarcasm)

Posted by Concerned November 1, 10 05:34 PM

Great photos, TY.

"64 of those troops lost their lives this month"

Fair enough, but in the name of impartiality, could we also get the number they killed in turn as well.

Can we get a balanced report please.

Posted by humanbeing November 1, 10 05:39 PM

Good to see #41. A tiny piece of hope in these lands.

Posted by Alienor November 1, 10 07:03 PM

Absolutely incredible, as usual. However, It's kind of mislabeled. I realize the paragraph at top starts out with a statement about how many US troops there are in Afghanistan, but at the bottom it states "Collected here are images of the country and conflict...". Perhaps more of a concentration on Afghan family life would be more appreciated?

Posted by AL November 1, 10 07:48 PM

An impressive collection depicting a multinational contribution to the war, but I do suspect it tells a false story if I go and look up the numbers. Sweden, for example shows 5 war casualties on the Wikipedia site, while the US shows 1,273. I do suspect that these photos are an effort to put a coalition face on the war to justify it.

The aerial photo of the Afghan mountains is simply breath taking. And Photo 41 brings back memories of my youth, when my family had various small colorful painted heads of beautiful nomadic peoples of the world displayed on our family room wall. This kind of photo should cause us to respect these peoples, who have managed to successfully live under some of the most challenging environments for thousands of years. I for one would hate to see our environmentally bankrupt civilization forced down the throats of this ancient civilization who for now at least, still live in harmony with the natural world. But it seems that the plan for them is to do just that, leaving them colonial servants to produce raw materiel for the insatiable industrial world. What will become of their beautiful mountains once the corporate world gets their hands upon their resources, without any protection for their people or their environment?

Posted by Steve November 1, 10 07:49 PM

These photos--as always--inspire both shock and awe. Thank you for posting them.

And I agree that you should include the number of Afghani lives that were killed during October 2010 (and every month hereafter) so that figure may be placed side-by-side with the number of American soldiers who lost their lives.

Posted by Vietnam 2.0 November 1, 10 08:11 PM

Is this is the price for "freedom" for Afghan people ?
God bless USA ...pfff.

Great Pictures

Posted by Dimi November 1, 10 08:22 PM


All in the name of selfish and greed.

Posted by lizzie November 1, 10 08:29 PM


Posted by Amy November 1, 10 08:31 PM

It should be ended.

Picture Talks.

Posted by PaulBoppo November 1, 10 09:04 PM

What are we trying to accomplish there?

Are we making the country better?

Can anyone even answer these questions with complete objectivity?

Posted by Avery November 1, 10 09:28 PM

Look at picture #8 and continue to tell me these people are better off under Taliban rule. Their form of human rights would see this girl beaten or worse because she wishes to receive an education, something that many of us take for granted. Education is paramount for the ability to provide critical thinking skills, which many legitimately use to oppose the war effort. Does she look particularly excited to be in school? No, just like many of us weren't but she is willing to sacrifice time and leisure to make her life, the lives of others and the world a better and more well thought-out place. The troops should receive our honor, respect and gratitude... Thank You to our forces who are sacrificing so that the rest of us may live in peace

Posted by smarkus November 1, 10 09:47 PM

Really? to that one comment saying "look at these children and see if war is really worth it." DO YOU HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING OF WHY WE ARE THERE? TO help them fight against the TALIBAN not torture the CHILDREN. If anything having our military there protects the damn children against the taliban, the TALIBAN who would RAPE those children and torture, so how about YOU start complaining about the taliban and not us? Some people are just lame god damn liberals who love to just complain about stupid things without even knowing the TRUTH.. Learn to appreciate what were god damn doing for them and stop blaming us, for being at "war" with them.

Posted by A Singh November 1, 10 10:39 PM

#9 To me they seem like dancing to a Bollywood tune.
Awesome photos. Afghanistan always carries mixed emotions.

Posted by Singh November 1, 10 11:21 PM

What are the Americans there for?
Why was Afghanistan invaded and occupied? This ain't a 'war'. Well, neither was Vietnam or Iraq - invasions and subsequent mass murder based on lies.

Posted by RC November 1, 10 11:29 PM

these pictures are VERY disturbing coming from a wife of a SOLDIER who is curently deployed

Posted by N November 1, 10 11:44 PM

to #44
You watch to much Fox news my friend.

Posted by Rational guy November 1, 10 11:56 PM

stunning captures!

Posted by eaphotography November 2, 10 12:21 AM

Before trying to get out someone should estimate what will happen if we do.
And then, if that is not too abstract, think of the shame of non intervention as we are facing it for certain African lack of action situations... or just go watch some light tv entertainment.

Posted by andrei November 2, 10 12:37 AM

Not that I want to disrespect peoples opinons but i saw a cover photo on TIME mag of a young afghan girl who had here nose and ears cut off, surprisingly not from the taliban but from her pissed of to be husband (she was only 14 I think and not surprsingly did not want to marry a 50+ y/o pedophile and ran away but was captured), my question is, what does everyone who thinks the west should leave think will happen to that country? Is it acceptable to dust our hands, leave and so write of a whole country of women and young boys (favored sex toys of taliban ive heard). Granted war is hell but is that a good decision to make? When everyone talks about respecting there culture and all that I can't help but wander what culture do they have when the taliban is in control, indeed what hope have they got?

Posted by Tomi4 November 2, 10 12:42 AM

very sad pictures! please stop this war madness!

Posted by rus mulyadi November 2, 10 01:03 AM

Anyone who wonders why all these nations are willing to sacrifice their young for the sake of Afghanistan, does not remember the Taliban and the atrocities they committed. There is a great price to pay for a young girl to be allowed to get an education or show her face in public. To those who say we should abandon the Afganies, are you so ethnocentric that you feel their lives are without value? Anyone who says this war has no purpose or value must hold the lives of the Afganies very cheap. Shame on you.

Posted by Truthistruth November 2, 10 01:13 AM

To Mr Singh: you wrote "DO YOU HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING OF WHY WE ARE THERE? TO help them fight against the TALIBAN not torture the CHILDREN."

But that is the point...we are torturing children: anonymous drone attacks, daily bombings, fear, hunger. Do you think a decade long war is helping any childrten @ this point? Our efforts to "help" only propped up the corrupt Republican Party. Billions spent, and not much of what private contractors built even works. Going into Iraq left the war here to wither - but a small group of made lots of money. We may have had a chance - but that was well over 5 years ago. I hope Obama and the Pentagon can pull something off, but since the General's went along with the lies of the Iraq War, i doubt that very much. Much blood is on our hands, and the wrongs of the Taliban will not excuse this.

Posted by DAVID D. November 2, 10 01:23 AM

PIc# 23 hurts .....Till yesterday his dad was with him.. but today...he is no more...very sad to think..........

Posted by Shiva November 2, 10 02:31 AM

These photos are only possible because humans are too stupid to live peacefully among each other.

Posted by Marcel November 2, 10 03:06 AM

Afghanistan...Where Empires Go To Die; remember?

Regarding questions #46; Rare Earth Elements have something to do with it. Afghanastan is thought to have one of the largest reserves on earth. The elements are necessary for your I-Phones, Lap-tops, Computers; video games, F-18's.. just about all the toys you Americans Hold SO DEAR. You don't want those to just SIT there do you?

These are the same Rare Earth Elements that China has plenty of; the same ones that China is starting to withhold as a strategical bargaining chips. These are the elements that without, our economy completely collapses, and all those content, overfed people with their eyes glued to their I-Phones will have to figure out a different way to amuse themselves.

Don't you know where your toys come from?

What a magnificent corner we've painted ourselves

Posted by So It Goes November 2, 10 03:27 AM

If a foreign military invaded your country, would you stand there and watch?

Posted by Will November 2, 10 03:39 AM

I think US and allied forces have forgot the treament the russians got from afghanistan. they will run back brutally killed, maimed and humiliated. Inshallah. Allah's wrath on all those infidles who are fighting against muslims.

Posted by WAQAR MAJEED-Karachi, Pakistan. November 2, 10 04:22 AM

Great pictures as always,but with such sensitive subjects please do try and get your facts right. Uig is on the Isle of Skye not as you reported on the Isle of Lewis,re picture 46

Posted by Roy Edwards November 2, 10 04:29 AM

sad very sad to see what the future holds

i agree, these pictures are very disturbing coming from a neice
whose uncles served in nam...

Posted by Sweetie November 2, 10 04:37 AM

What a pity such a beautiful country with such amazing people has been ravaged by war for the past 30 years or so. Though the previous Afghanistan series were becoming boring (almost only US soliders, either in action or in funerals), this one is much more balanced and "humane". Hard to see an exit to this mess, though it is undeniable we should definitely be there.

Posted by Tom November 2, 10 05:25 AM

#11 Really got to me

Posted by Fish November 2, 10 06:45 AM

amazing pictures. rest in peace comrades.

Posted by sojahe November 2, 10 06:50 AM

@# 9 - The first bloke from left has a cigarette in his hand and has one eye shut as if taking aim. Goes to show well (in)equipped the locals are. And they are supposed to protect the nation !

Posted by Dave November 2, 10 07:13 AM

Little girls in school, or little girls in a forced marriage bed? Which future would prevail for this country without ISAF's efforts to eradicate the intolerant and hateful Taliban?

Posted by Mezzoduomo November 2, 10 08:31 AM

Smiling and helpful American soldiers. How nice!
You had to be fair while choosing and publishing photos. As I browse these, they felt like an advertisement, not journalistic. If you want to play fair, show the pictures of USA soldiers torturing civilians at their own country.

Posted by Fairm World November 2, 10 08:39 AM

all of you sicken me. go back to the fact that WE were ATTACKED on 9-11. They are in Afghanistan in response to that. Do I like that we are at war? HELL NO! I wish our people could come home right this minute! BUT, you also have to understand that, without our soldiers, DEFENDING US AND OUR RIGHTS, things would be completely different. Try THANKING them! And to you ladies criticizing on here...would you like to be treated as property? That's what will happen if the extremist groups in the Middle East are allowed to just go into countries an terrorize the citizens - if the actions of 9-11 go unanswered...

Posted by FemalePatriot310 November 2, 10 09:18 AM


Posted by Yusuf November 2, 10 09:47 AM

Every month when I look at these select pictures, I wish I were there again.

These pictures are powerful, yes, but not as powerful as being there. Witnessing firsthand, with my own two eyes, the smiles and laughter on the faces of women, girls and children attending school and playing outside, without the fear and intimidation of the Taliban rule, without the torture and oppression of the Taliban rule is the most powerful thing I have ever witnessed.

I have no doubt that my time in Afghanistan, even with all the sacrifices I made and all that I lost, will be the most rewarding experience of my life. Nothing can compare to being part of giving the Afghan people the lives that ALL people of the world deserve; lives of freedom, without fear, without torture, without oppression.

I welcome the opportunity to return and I respectfully disagree with those of you who don't believe me.

Posted by LB November 2, 10 09:52 AM

@58 "If a foreign military invaded your country, would you stand there and watch?"

yes, i'm afraid most of these people would.

people may not understand or like what we do, or why we do it, but i'll continue to do so until the day i die.

Posted by John November 2, 10 10:38 AM

I'm sad our men and women have to die for natural resources, but they are limited and we will need them to fight against China and maintain our imperial hegemony over the rest of the planet

my great great uncle fought in british army in afghanistan in the 1880's

I hope the locals can crawl out of absolute poverty,
wish they would stop making IED's and go start mining companies...

Posted by smarter than you November 2, 10 11:26 AM

#34 is making me sad

Posted by daniel November 2, 10 11:32 AM

stop war this Time

Posted by tanhawan November 2, 10 11:39 AM

the war needs to stop. usa and their coalition needs to get out of afghanistan. if another country invades usa, and starts killing us citizens for us natural resources, will usa people like it?

Posted by joney bones November 2, 10 12:16 PM

The photos of the children and #37, 41 and 48 are just incredibly raw, moving and beautiful. Thank you for sharing these images with those of us fortunate enough to not be in Afghanistan right now.

Posted by Melissa Schilling November 2, 10 12:29 PM

i love these pictures, and have been a monthly follower since the first, but how many more months will you have to do?

Posted by Jacob November 2, 10 12:39 PM

This war is a neverending madness.... ~
very impressing pictures~

Posted by Riss November 2, 10 01:05 PM

Thank you Barack!! Without you, kids would still have their parents. You really are the best president ever!

Posted by Jimmy November 2, 10 01:17 PM

Peace is all we need....

Posted by teng bracamonte November 2, 10 01:18 PM


Posted by polly obrero November 2, 10 01:35 PM

I'm a grown man [40 yrs old], I've never been in a war, never been to that part of the world, don't know many people from the middle east and yet these pictures make me want to cry. Not just US and other soldiers, but the people of Afghanistan. War blows.

Posted by justdontgetit November 2, 10 01:37 PM

#4... awesome. Took me a couple of minutes to get passed that one and realized this was one of those shots you'ld wish you had shot this yourself. One of the strongest portraits i ever saw, definetely.

Posted by flawijn November 2, 10 02:42 PM

My life is not as bad as I thought.

Posted by Tim November 2, 10 04:34 PM

According to the caption on #45, James Johnson was killed on October 23, 2010 but the cross in the pictures states Killed in Action (KIA) June 28, 2008. What gives? James "Jimmy" Johnson sounds more American than British...

Posted by confused November 2, 10 04:37 PM

Jimmy (#79), how do you come to that conclusion? Obama is trying to pull troops out and he's getting drilled by the Republicans for doing so. Ask yourself which presidential candidate would have done a better job preventing American deaths.

Posted by freethinker November 2, 10 04:41 PM

I find it funny and slightly alarming, that most of the responses here seem to think the reason behind this conflict and come to think of it, the one in Iraq to are based on America's need to gobble up the wolrd's natural resources... It seems most of the comments i have read on this series over the last few month come to the simple conclusion that, "we dont really understand the reason, so it must be based on money". Maybe the lack of education the American people have on the issue re-inforces their arguement that you shouldnt be there... Only time will tell.

Posted by doyle November 2, 10 05:15 PM

When u see #2 can really get another picture of afghanistan

Posted by Pit November 2, 10 06:34 PM

As a proud Englishman who is fully behind every British soldier, some of them that are fresh out of school/college who are going to war in the name of this great country and sacrificing themselves, it really worries me how we are hanging from the coat-tails of the single most deluded and destructive nation on this planet....

Posted by The Streets - Two Nations November 2, 10 06:36 PM

to number 39 zack im glad ur still breathen much love from all of us here

Posted by dillon woods November 2, 10 06:39 PM

Good time living... No rain... Thank BG...

Posted by michael November 2, 10 06:43 PM

Doyle, are you proposing that we're invading and occupying foreign countries so that they like us? So that they change their theology?

I think it's you who is funny and slightly alarming.

Iraq has the second largest remaining petroleum reserve on earth. Afghanastan has the largest proven reserves of rare earth elements.

Do you know who attended Cheney's closed-door National Energy Policy Meetings? Do you know what the first recorded words from his mouth were on the morning of 911?

Yea..right, these wars are about trying to make radical lunatics like us. Dream on.

Posted by So it Goes November 2, 10 08:04 PM

Huli oni zabyli v tom Afganistane? Kazhdyj sverchok znaj svoj verstok.

Posted by Andrea November 2, 10 09:23 PM

enough!!!! end this war. What the hell are we doing over there?

Posted by Ed November 2, 10 09:46 PM

@32 "Concerned",

Yes, I was quite surprised by #21. However, it does seem like there are signs of improvement, of life getting better. Girls getting an education, children's sicknesses being treated, a society starting to get back on its feet. Although I have mixed feelings in general about the effect of keeping troops in Afghanistan, I disagree that our morals have a strong stand in this. Who's to say that our country is the only one with a tarnish? I don't know a single large country free from immorality, whether church-controlled or not... And as much as religion is a source of morals in many cases, I would rather allow people their freedoms than prescribe them a religion. For the most part, pornography is worldwide. So is liquor. Also gay marriage. These things are all controversial, and many people have different opinions on it. I'm offended that you could find that we are directly imposing these things on another country.

But back to #21. Notice the woman's picture to the right. She doesn't look strictly immoral. She looks like another human, having a long day, fighting to get another country back on its feet. So please don't point your fingers at that, of all things.

Posted by Offended American November 2, 10 11:30 PM

So it goes....

Do you, know the answers to your own questions??

Seriously, do you believe the government YOU voted in, would be able to convince all the other nations envolved in this conflict, to become envolved if their sole reason was to get their hands on said natural resources??
I'm Australian, our country is one of the most naturaly resourse rich places on earth. Do you really think my government would allow our serving men and women to sacrafice their lives to satisfy america's need for natural resources?
It may, down the track come out as "one" of the reasons they went in there, but saying it is the one and only is narow minded..

Posted by Doyle November 3, 10 01:23 AM


Would you prefer the Taliban? This is not the sickest war in history. In fact, if you look at some of the worlds conflicts this is one of the most reasonable.,8599,2007238,00.html

Posted by Andrew November 3, 10 01:57 AM


Posted by lowe November 3, 10 02:13 AM

just like vietnam,,,lots of death and destruction which will lead to nothing....

Posted by DouglasUrantia November 3, 10 02:38 AM

Get out of there ... Leave them alone in peace

Posted by AD November 3, 10 03:21 AM

I am looking on these pictures and remembering soviet army in 1987. New faces, new uniform but the same situations.

Posted by D Bor November 3, 10 03:39 AM

Yankee go home! How do you read me? Over.

Posted by nICEsCREAM November 3, 10 03:43 AM

Number 4 reminds me of Nat Geo's ‘Afghan Girl'.

Posted by Louis Wakley November 3, 10 03:59 AM

Afghanistan is the gravedigger of Empires

Posted by Anonymous November 3, 10 04:39 AM

За что воюем? За нескольких жирных алчных американских наркоторговцев? Что с этим миром..

Posted by Фу November 3, 10 05:07 AM

Action = Reaction
You give more violent you will get more violent
You give more kindness you will get more kindness
Nothing is stand forever.

Posted by Mr.Greeness November 3, 10 06:03 AM

Wann merken die USA das man sie nicht braucht? Ueberall wo sie waren hinterliessen sie Chaos. Irak, Afghanistan Vietnam Korea....
darum Amis Go Home.

Posted by Bruno November 3, 10 07:04 AM

Yes 39! All in the name of selfish and greed.

Posted by Grif November 3, 10 08:31 AM

incredibly sad.

Posted by christine November 3, 10 08:42 AM

picture no1. stupidity right there.
oil onto a burning oil tanker. - there is NO hope for these people.

Posted by Louis Green November 3, 10 09:21 AM


Posted by ananymouse November 3, 10 09:40 AM

Many thanks!

From Poland

Posted by Oleg November 3, 10 10:06 AM

After all the dead and wounded are brought home on all sides civilians, military and insurgents, after all the bills are paid in full and those who make lots of money in this war have collected their billions, after all this waste, wait another few years and look again. At that time, is it really going to be any different than it was before we invaded?

Face it Americans, we're there to extract a blood revenge for 9-11. Hasn't that been paid over and over again already? And who's paying it, our young soldiers, the children and families in these photos - LOTS of innocent victims. Enough.

Posted by toosinbeymen November 3, 10 10:50 AM


Posted by tom November 3, 10 11:40 AM

Say thanks to Carter and Reagan. Don't dig a trap to another one. It'll be your own. Try to imagine what will happen if Russians provide weapon to Taliban as USA did in 80s.

Posted by Observer November 3, 10 11:59 AM

These pictures tell a story that words can never tell.
It hits you 100x harder.
End this war.

Posted by Nick November 3, 10 12:20 PM

War is horrible...Let's end this...There must be a way...

Posted by Anonymous November 3, 10 06:56 PM

Some of you are so ignorant its scary. You really believe that its us who wont leave these people alone. Its because of us that these people can live in peace. We keep the tribes from fighting eachother and that taliban at bay. War torn afghanistan give me a f*%#ing break its better off now than its was 10 years ago thats a fact. Yeah some civilians have been killed but democracy and freedom comes with a price. Come on when in history hasn't it? Keep supporting the heros and real patriots who choose and volunteer to serve in our military.

Posted by jt November 3, 10 07:27 PM

Powerful photos... :(
Thanks for providing.

Posted by Aisha R November 3, 10 07:29 PM

What have you forgotten in Afgan?
Why are you there...?
You `ll never get this land, russian, have done a BIG misstake as they marshed in this country.
You have "0" chance to change this land, it is just fool`s dream.
I was born there, that`s why I know it.. you have NO chance.
You ll just get nothing than more RIP`s..
In Irak was a normal domestic leader-Saddam Husain- like many other leaders in this region. Hi was equivalent and suitable to these people and to way of life there, and was a peace there...
Now there is a neverending war..
You mean irakies wanted to live in the war or to have your democracy...
You try to make a world American but the world doesn`t want it.
Most of the people in west will not this war.. you have a lot of to do for democracy in your countries.
There you is the war and deth.
Let the world go his owne way.
Thank you... and go home.
All these dieing people just statistic in war budget.
I am so sorry for these people who have to die, they were born not for this.

Posted by Igo, from Germany with love November 3, 10 08:01 PM


Yes, yes, and I understand your last point. But yes, yes. Are you poroposing that we're there because they don't agree with our view of God?

If it were just "Terrorists", why not attack the countries that actually threatened us?

We did not do that, afterall. And afterall, Iraq has the 2nd largest proven oil reserved remaining on earth, and Afghanastan the largest reserve of Rare Earth Elements (outside of China).

These two FACTS have alot to do with the economy of America and Australia alike.

So...yes, yes, yes..

Posted by So It Goes November 4, 10 02:17 AM

Doyle, I answered your questions, I answered my questions, now you please try answering mine.

Posted by So it Goes November 4, 10 02:48 AM

Neverending war. Unreason war.

Posted by Anonymous November 4, 10 03:10 AM

after all, I want that boot in #3 :-)

Posted by Eric Calabros November 4, 10 05:10 AM

take heart and think strong!

Posted by Master of Trinity Art Studio November 4, 10 09:06 AM

So it goes...

The problem with you is you're educated and single minded.

You want to believe there is some naughty, behind closed doors, secret reason why we are there, and regardless of points put to you, or obvious evidence you wont sway your opinion.
Which is absolutely, your god given right...
A right, mind you, that generations of the world before you have fought and sadly died for...

I never said it was about religion, i strongly believe that we are there for the simple reason that we have made a difference. Women are no longer in fear of violent reprocussions for practicing thier basic rights as human beings. The right to education, free will, the right to choose ones own religion.
The same basic rights, you and i have..

Should there be any more of a reason?

Posted by Doyle November 4, 10 06:13 PM

@concerned: I happen to know the Captain in picture #21 and she is the most moral person I've ever met. She was sickend by the display and asked the store to remove them. The next day they were gone. Until you have walked in the boots of these brave soliders, you have no room to talk about why we are there or assume that everyone there is immoral.

Posted by firechick November 4, 10 11:51 PM

Doyle, you seem to think I'm saying the cause is singular? Now that IS simple-minded isn't it.

There are numerous "causes", as to why they are there, which does not at the same time negate the FACTS regarding the mentioned need for those specific natural resources. I never said conflicts in philosophical/world views theologies was not a "cause". Just like the Christian Crusades used theological differences as a "Cause", then as now, alot of very powerfull fatcats ALSO lied and made off with the loot. There's such causes as proximal and ultimate. Do not confuse the two.

And do not be confused, I never said it was a secret either. It's right out in the light for anyone serious enough to think objectively about it. Problem is, some truths are inconvenient. If people had been listening to NPR, BBC, Christian Science Monitor instead of the Sheep's-Slop that passes for "Average American Media" since 911, you'de be caught up with the rest of us.

So one more time Doyle, are you saying the only reason we're over there, in Afghanastan and Iraq is to try and make them "like us"?

Maybe the problem with you is you are undereducated and a soft-thinker? You're not alone.

Posted by So It Goes November 5, 10 02:15 AM

i love my afghanistan wihtout fight

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 10 03:15 AM


Posted by anil Reddy November 5, 10 07:05 AM

@ 32 "Concerned"

Okay, I am the Captain in picture 21 and to set the story straight I would like to make a few points:
1) That is in the German PX/Store (remember this is a NATO fight, not strictly US forces)
2) The photographer stepped in front of me as I was walking around the stand to exit the store and got down on a knee to take the shot. My look was at the photographer wondering why he was in my way and had a camera in my face. This is why the picture is so skewed.
3) I didn't even realize those postcards were on the stand until the picture came out on the Time/CNN page. That is when I realized why he cornered me like he did.
4) I already complained to Time/CNN about how it unfairly characterizes myself and the US Army.

All that aside, being a soldier on the ground here, I would say it is very unfair to say we are pushing our "immoral" culture on the Afghan citizens. I have never seen this kind of paraphernalia sold in any of the US stores on base and certainly never distributed off post at all. In fact, it is the first time I have ever seen it over here in the Middle East for sell at all but it is also my first time working on a major post with so many other nations, most of which are from Europe. This store is not available to the local Afghan people. Regardless, I don't agree with it and was horribly offended to be placed in a picture that was staged to make it look like I was looking at such nonsense. The fact it has found it's way to another site is even more disturbing.

Posted by Binstock November 5, 10 12:20 PM

Incredible pictures. One of the biggest lessons we should learn from the period of Taliban rule of Afghanistan is that the enemy or our enemy is not necessarily our (or anyone else's) friend. The Taliban was evil, no doubt about it, but just as so many say we should never forget 9/11, we also should never forget we enabled and empowered the Taliban.

Posted by bizona November 5, 10 12:46 PM

In response to comment: 85

A&SH = Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a Scottish Regiment of the British Army

According to the caption on #45, James Johnson was killed on October 23, 2010 but the cross in the pictures states Killed in Action (KIA) June 28, 2008. What gives? James "Jimmy" Johnson sounds more American than British...

Posted by Lachlan November 5, 10 06:08 PM

war is stupid no matter what.

Posted by Tony November 6, 10 12:10 AM

Awesome Photos.

Posted by Noushad November 6, 10 08:22 AM

I want my soldier home. I will always support him and stand behind him I love him more than I could ever say.

Posted by November 7, 10 02:10 AM

The ignorance of this board is appalling to me. Not one person has said something remotely intelligent. This world makes me sick. All everyone ever does is point the finger at someone else for their issues instead of putting their big boy/girl pants on and do for themselves.

Posted by Yawn November 7, 10 02:36 PM

So it goes...

You said yourself people need to think objectively about it.. The problem i tend to find with that, is that most people already have a theory, which they want to believe, so they go out in search of infomation that tends to line up with or back their theory/argument up.

I'm not denying what you say isnt true, you are entitled to your opinion, as am I..
Thats the good thing about living in a free country.

Posted by Doyle November 7, 10 05:14 PM

America is not trying to change Afganistan into America - if that were so, we would be bringing in settlers and farmers to take over the land and to kill the local tribes (it worked once before when Europeans settled North America - just ask a Native American Indian how successful they were against the hordes of settlers/farmers). No - instead we are trying to show the Afganistan populace that there is a better way of life if they want it. Albeit our nation is far from perfect, but at least the majority of children get a chance at an education and most folks have a chance/choice at making something of their life. Most Afghans and peoples of that part of the world do not get a choice.

In regards to the deaths and suffering we see from these photos - I would venture to say we could take the same photos throughout the USA in ER rooms and on our highways - tens of thousands of Americans die every year from violent crimes and car accidents (we are our own worst enemy). Suffering can be found on skid row and in homeless shelters also throughout the USA as well as families living in fear from violence brought in by drugs and gangs.

While our actions in bringing a better life and hope to the Afghans is noble, we have as much need here in our own country for that same type of aid e.g., medical, schools, security, and economic / social projects.

Until the various tribes within Afghanistan stop fighting amongst themselves and form some sort of coalition or form of partnership that works for them - the violence will continue. Maybe that is their way of life and it can not be changed - look at our own Native Americans - not all the tribes got along, in fact many of them were constantly at war. The only way to defeat that type conduct may be by wiping it it out.

Lastly, as to the strategic importance of the region. There is only one Islamic nation that has the Atomic bomb and the means to deliver it onto other nations - and that country is Pakistan - 75% Sunni (located next to Afghanistan, India, China, and Iran - for those that do not have a map). The Taliban (living in both Afghanistan and Pakistan) are radicals and if they defeat/take over Pakistan (as they have tried already once) - they will have at their disposal dozens of nuclear weapons. One of their first targets would probably be Israel followed by select Arab nations that have allowed the infidels (that would be us and our European allies) into the holy lands e.g., Saudia Arabia, Dubai, etc. Iran would be targeted because they are Shia (that is why they "Iran" secretly need an Atomic bomb to counter the Sunni Atomic Bomb). The U.S. and Europe would also be targets, but distance helps to make us a harder target. Lastly, India would also be a target (due to the dispute over Kashmir) and since they also have nuclear weapons - they would respond with their own strike and we now have a Nuclear disaster in the Middle East affecting oil supplies needed for our trading partners and to a lesser degree the U.S. (we only get about 15% of oil from the middle east). Not to mention the nuclear ash cloud that will now add to the global warming woes.

So while we enjoy our big SUVs, flat screen TVs, football games, etc - lets remember that most of that would not be except for the use of oil and its by-products. When everyone is ready to live without those things and live a simpler life with fewer possessions, then maybe we can leave places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran alone to their own destinies - but until then our destinies are intertwined and we best pay attention to what happens in those countries and any other country whose actions affect our way of life.

our way life.

Posted by Chuck November 7, 10 10:34 PM

Who do we think we are?

"I don't want to startle you, but they're going to kill most of us..."
~Kenneth Patchen

Posted by Griff November 8, 10 03:51 AM

@95 I am shocked that pic #21 surprised you but pic #26 of the guy wanting to kill someone did not. You make no reference to it. You sealed part of my point with your statement "I don't know a single large country free from immorality". My point was that we (and to your point other countries too) seem to be headed more toward an immoral future instead of getting better. We are all part of that problem.

Posted by Concerned November 8, 10 05:37 PM

wish we all could stay in peace..Amin ~

Posted by RattnaHamdi November 8, 10 09:53 PM

One more set of the disgusting actions of the US government, showing their proud army killing innocent people in afghanistan.

Lets take a look of the comments of those proud americans that follow the war, enjoy the bombs and then cry during the funerals.

One more war designed by the 'biggest democracy of the world'...

is that freedom?

Posted by Jaime November 9, 10 03:53 AM

Photo 41 - Good looking TEETH for an old man!

This photo could be perfect evidence that, if you don't eat a Western sugar rich junk food diet, then your teeth stay healthy !

Posted by Mr Chris November 9, 10 05:12 AM

The Beatles "Let It Be" is the perfect message in almost all situations. Except when your toilet is overflowing.

Posted by danecook November 9, 10 06:06 PM

Doyle, I'm not confusing opinion with FACT. The fact is, there is a smaller and smaller pie, with more and more mouths dependent on it. Energy and Raw Tech materials are critical to our economy, and the superpowers have been jockying for control of it for decades. The fact remains that Iraq and Afghanastan, the two countries we happen to be bleeding most for, have the largest proven reserves of BOTH energy, and rare earth elements. Without those, your I-phone and Laptop ARE NOT... That's a fact.

What you do with those facts is a matter of opinion..but your opinion does not negate those FACTS. Truth tends to amount to what we can agree on, which tends not to work....that's a fact..and may even be the truth!

Posted by So It Goes November 10, 10 01:36 AM

Like this

Posted by Md. Mahmudur Rahman November 10, 10 08:19 AM

I just have to drop a few points...

So It goes - Actually you list 2 facts. It's the connection (that because of the oil and elements is the primary reason we are there) that is your _opinion_.
Exporting Immorality? Are you aware of what the Taliban considers 'moral'? It's all relative, but the best situation is when no one group forces it's opinion of morality on another. Sometimes it is neccessary to take action to stop one group from imposing it's opinion, as the U.S. did when attacked by by terrorists.

The one that really got me was the one post about "Why don't we leave these people with their 'peaceful lives at one with nature'."
Did you see that girls face???? Natural in the 3rd world isn't some Eden. It's starvation, exploitation and dying from diseases eradicated from the rest of the world. Anything the U.S. and it's allies does there actually improves the standard of living for the majority, and yes, that includes 'removing' some parts of the population.

To those who say "violence never solves anything", I say "Talk to Carthage."

And lastly, I am fantastically offended by whoever called this the most horrific war or something along those lines. Have we already forgotten ten million dead _non-combatants_ by the Nazis? This cannot hold a candle to that.

Please note that anyone posting here has access to electricity, the internet, education and the freedom to not only view uncensored images but make whatever silly comment they want to about them. Think about which sociopoliticoeconomic jurisdiction allows and encourages that.

Posted by Snowdolphin November 10, 10 10:25 AM

great photographer (:

Posted by Jessika November 10, 10 06:30 PM

Snowdolphin dear..where exaclty do I address "exporting immorality"..specifically please?

Where am I defending the insanity of the Taliban...specifically please?

I mentioned two facts, and tried to explain "proximal and ultimate"..where to I ascribe the
"main reason".?

Posted by So It Goes November 11, 10 02:15 AM

im very af set

Posted by ahmed November 11, 10 03:01 AM

Interesting remarks Chuck. (comment # 139)
Heartbreaking photos):

Posted by Abuzar Mahmoodi November 11, 10 11:56 AM

I donated 70$ to today, if you really want to change some lifes and empower some people in Afghanistan, that's a good place to start. (they do a lot more than just teaching skating, just look around the project and the effect it has on people)

Posted by trollkind November 13, 10 08:06 PM

this is so sad

Posted by pot lick November 15, 10 11:01 AM

#3 & #30 really gots me

Posted by cristina November 16, 10 04:49 PM


Posted by DAVIS November 20, 10 07:09 AM

every one of these pictures speaks louder than any one of these comments, each of them tells a story that reaches beyond our own opinions, they speak of life, death, love, hate, everything that makes us what we are, every feeling, emotion, thought, action, bundled up into this war and these pictures. we cannot downplay that which these pictures represent, we can never change what already is. we are at war. the story does not end there, but that is the basis for each of these photographs, and where their stories blossom from.

Posted by Azrael November 21, 10 05:56 PM

500 to 600 killed + the locals. Very sad, very sad. Hate to see kids hurt, even the young soldiers.

Hope this comes to a swift end, sooner rather than later.

Posted by bob trejbal November 22, 10 04:33 AM

every soldier is a HERO, every people who died fighting for justice and peace is a HERO you can called .. HAIL to those people fought for peace and justice.

Posted by arnold santos November 22, 10 06:53 AM

Every One says we are Hero, we fight for peace! when you fight then how can you stablish peace. I think we will never make peace in the world with fight unless it is expanding day by day!

Posted by Jawad November 23, 10 03:08 PM

I am a muslim, at the end we are all Humans, killing each other is not way god made us. We share Some Blood

Posted by Akeel Mulla November 24, 10 11:47 AM

What a pristine face the girl on picture 8 has. Sharp contrast with her hands..

Posted by brecht November 26, 10 01:40 AM

Slaughterhouse five guy -

While the rare earth elements you mention are important items in modern global economics (can you provide some examples and show their relationship with modern technology?) I'm not convinced they're the primary reason we're here. You make a strong case and while that may or may not be the presiding factor - keep in mind there are other influences to consider.

Afghanistan is important because, as I'm sure you're aware, it's place in the world lies in a crucial geostrategic and logistical position. A strong, stabilized Afghanistan improves trade for the entire region. Prior to our occupation this country led the world in narcotics production, had the second most corrupt government behind Somalia, and was a safe haven for terrorist organizations. To be an essential landbridge in Southeast Asia and have that kind of unchecked corruption clearly spells disaster for not only Afghanistan, but also Pakistan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, and as we've found more than a few times throughout this decade, western civilization. I firmly believe that if there's anywhere in the world where we can reap future benefits through nation-building it's in a self-reliant and stabilized Afghanistan. And not from their natural resources - but through enhanced logistical capabilities and trade between and through a more westernized Afghanstan (sound crazy? it's happening.....) and other countries in Southwest Asia. And we can only accomplish this through a long, drawn out occupation and a few permanent bases like we have in Germany/South Korea.

Sure we can see long-term profit from whatever precious items are required in circuitboards etc (I'm sure you know more about this than I) but I'm not sure the government is patient enough to invest that much time on something they'll see benefits for in quite a long time. There are very smart and powerful people involved with American politics that could probably find a better means to this end than a ten year occupation run by an inefficient beaurocracy..That and the best time to capitalize on these resources would probably have been in the late 80's..and we all know the decisions we made after the russian withdrawl.

Also - the United States government - however corrupt and capitalistic they may be - place very high value on american soldiers lives. Every soldier that dies here costs the government close to 600K. And that's not even mentioning basic needs of 65000 hungry, well-fed soldiers over a 10 year period and the ridiculous amounts of waste accumulated by civilian contractors. It would take a long time to get a return on whatever gains we make with better access to technology-enhancing materials. I consider it more of a spoils-of-war situation by building an ally and improving trade.

And finally - trust me man - it would take a long time to develop the mining industry in the areas you're talking about. The landscape here is truly insane. I know a few guys who have their own illegal mines and yes - they can get them but not in the mass quantities it would require for Americans to see any real benefit. That alone is a 20-year investment.

To others - the terrible consequences of war in Afghanistan don't compare to the horrors committed by invading forces before us. I've met and spoken with many Afghan's in their early 30's and the things the Russians did to the Afghan people are terrifying. Luckily we learned our lesson on Fear-Based conterinsurgency tactics during Vietnam. Thank God the media is proficient enough these days to ensure no future superpower can exert their influence in this way again.

We may be oppurtunistic in our friendly efforts but they're a positive means nonetheless.

Best Picture - # 44. What a dirtbag..

Posted by SleeplessInJBAD November 26, 10 03:30 PM

@ 36 - A third of the military forces in Afghanistan are non-american. 6 of the 48 pictures here are putting a 'coalition face' on the war. If anything this blog is overpopulated with american soldiers...

@ 89 - a Destructive force huh? and this coming from a proud englishman? Riiiiight..Way to think that comment through.

Posted by DocX November 26, 10 04:06 PM

i wnt 2 say only ,now it should be stoppe n stop(many innocent were dead)

Posted by gulshan December 7, 10 01:24 AM

At those posters who keep saying: "End the war, America is killing innocent Afghans, American soldiers are torturing innocent people," you people are as ignorant (or stupid) as people can become (or both, as these two mind states tend to go hand-in-hand). You seem to have forgotten that a man named Osama Bin Laden, who led a group of Islamic fanatics called AL QAEDA, bombed and killed many innocent people in both American and foreign countries, and did so from a place called AFGHANISTAN. And his followers of extremist Islam (the Taliban), took control of this country after a 11-year civil war that followed their (nearly) 10 year war against the Soviets [who by the way, attempted to take over most of Europe and Asia for the better half of the 20th century, both STALIN and MAO (perhaps you’ve heard of them) killed millions in their pursuit of total communist states. They would have gotten most of Europe, if the UNITED STATES DIDN’T SUPPORT a very weak Britain, Germany and Italy to prevent a total communist takeover (with the overall help of a little club called N-A-T-O, who is by-the-way, engaged in Afghanistan). Oh, and the US did that RIGHT AFTER defeating the NAZIs and Imperial Japanese from taking over the world during a little event called the SECOND WORLD WAR].

The Taliban gave Al Qaeda a safe place to stay while beating and torturing both men and women if they didn’t follow some very specific rules: no alcohol, no television, or internet. Punishments include public execution in a soccer stadium and stoning. Other atrocities include NO TOLERANCE OF ANY OTHER RELIGION or its symbols, hence why they blew up those two 5,000 year old Buddhist statues. But that wasn’t enough, Bin Ladin was still ticked off at the “corrupt” Saudi Royal family (gimmie a break, almost all of the Arab countries governments are corrupt to some degree, and they are better off with some competent govt vice some hard-line a%^holes like Iran.) and American military bases in the region (who were there to mess with another douche bag, his name was Saddam Hussein, who violently invaded another country called Kuwait, and slaughtered rival Muslim Shiites to get to power. And before that, these military bases were to counter another douche bag, the Ayatollah Khomeini, whose party supports YET ANOTHER DOUCHE BAG: the nuclear weapon hankering PRESIDENT ABERDMANIGHAD (name purposely misspelled)).

After blowing up US embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, and TWO FAILED ATTEMPTS at the World Trade Center, he and Al Qaeda recruited about 20 Saudi Arabian nationals, paid them to learn to fly planes in the US, and on September 11, 2001, they slammed 2 of them into the World Trade Center, killing about two-thousand, eight-hundred people. The 3rd plane slammed into the pentagon, and the 4th was retaken over by Heroic passengers, who refused to allow these crazy 72-virgin paradise dreaming f*&%ers to crash into a 4th target, the US Capitol building, saving countless of lives. One of those passengers was an alumnus at my university.

And since you morons have forgotten: Afghanistan is the world’s 5th poorest country, where tribal warloards rule opium poppy fields that supply heroin to you hippy-types wailing against the “evil” Americans supplying medicine and education to an 18% literacy rate and security from a brutal Taliban who believe it’s ok to poison school girls learning to read. Oh, and lets not forget the Al Queda influenced attempts of killing the Canadian Prime Minister, the shoe bomber idiot who made taking off shoes mandatory at airports, the Red-bus bombings in London, the train bombings in Madrid, the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Iraq (Muslim on Muslim bombings to spark a Sunni Muslim on Shiite War, how novel…), the Mumbai attacks and the airline printer cartridge that originated from Yeman. Really, HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE? All these actual events and you STILL BLAME AMERICA….

There, a quick 4 paragraph history to educate those of you who have had your head stuck up your butt for the past 60 years of world events.

-From somewhere in Afghanistan watching Taliban getting blown up because they want to plant bombs that kill both Americans, European troops and Afghan civilians…

PS: For you Morons of a Muslim background wailing against the "Imperial" NATO Crusaders, there are Egyptian and Jordanian military and special forces operating here, and guess what religion THEY ARE. And guess what they’re doing here, (I’ll give you a hint, they’re not here to pass out *&*^ing candy). They’re here because they (as well as other moderate Muslim nations) are aware that the Taliban are an atrocity who have perverted the religion of Islam to some warped, hateful and despicable form of controlling a helpless population. And NONE of your weak, powerless Feed-the-Children, Code Pink, Amnesty International, Free Tibet type NGOs can do ANYTHING about it WITHOUT a military that can go fist-to-fist with the Taliban, who would like nothing more than to cut your head off (like they did to Daniel Pearl. Look him up too).

Posted by Anonymous December 11, 10 11:15 AM

In regards to picture 21. Look at the filth you bring in to our Muslim countries.

Posted by Muslimah February 21, 11 03:59 AM
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