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February 3, 2011 Permalink

Afghanistan, January 2011

President Obama recently spoke about the War in Afghanistan in his State of the Union address: “Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home.” With this post, we continue the monthly look at the men and women who live and fight in the country and at the Afghan people themselves as they struggle for peace in their land. At the end of the regular post I've included 14 additional images by Associated Press photographer Kevin Frayer. The images are black and white aerials - a unique view - of Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan. -- Paula Nelson (48 photos total)

Sergeant Quincey Northern, a medic with the US Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off,’’ Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment, gathers his equipment after finishing a medevac mission and arriving back at Camp Dwyer, in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Thursday, Jan. 27. Medevac units may make several runs a day - at times under fire - to evacuate both injured troops and Afghan civilians. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

115 comments so far...

Why do these people want to be at war all the time. Isn't their lifestyle bad enough than to destroy everything with bombs and guns?

Posted by Michele M Jarosz February 4, 11 11:31 AM

The photos by Kevin Frayer are breathtaking. Great series once again. I'm an Infantryman in the 10th Mountain Division documenting my deployment at

Posted by Chase Steely February 4, 11 11:45 AM

Brilliant images as always. Much appreciation and regard goes out to those risking their lives for others. They are not only fighting for Afghan freedom, but ours as well.

Putting political perspectives aside, we must support those who have been tasked with building a better world. Our troops are heroes, period.

Here are are a couple sites that truly work to build that community of support: (not an advertisement or promotion, just a show of respect)

God Bless our Troops!

Posted by BMcD February 4, 11 11:45 AM

...ami go home , leave the people alone. Better you clear up the bankster at wallstreet.

Posted by Ralko February 4, 11 11:46 AM

@ #16 LOL someone is on punishment detail!!! Burning the crappers!

Posted by Dustin February 4, 11 11:48 AM

War, what is it good for?

Posted by Sebastian February 4, 11 11:50 AM

# 36-- # 48..

Posted by Amit Mak February 4, 11 11:50 AM

No. 16 = Jarhead/burning poop.

Great images! The black and white especially.

Posted by Darren Carlin Photography February 4, 11 11:55 AM

superbe photos !

Posted by Francky21 February 4, 11 11:55 AM

12 is not a helicopter, it's a "tiltrotor aircraft"...

Posted by Andrew February 4, 11 11:56 AM

Very impressive, as always

Posted by ChrisP February 4, 11 11:56 AM


Posted by MURLIZ February 4, 11 11:57 AM

Wow, I really liked photo 21. The number of stars visible in the sky in Afghanistan must be astounding!

Posted by Rick February 4, 11 11:57 AM

excellent photos

Greetings from Greece

Posted by Alexander February 4, 11 11:59 AM

Amazing Photographs! A warming up for the Politicy and in the Netherlands.

Posted by Rob Jansen February 4, 11 12:05 PM

Kevin's work is always great. I'd hang prints of 36-48, an amazing set.

Posted by Bryan February 4, 11 12:05 PM

Fantastic Aero Photos

Posted by Rafael February 4, 11 12:12 PM

There was a time these reports on Afghanistan were only dark and hopeless. The recent entries are a bit lighter to see. I like it better this way and hope the situation is actually improving. And I really appreciate to see a portfolio with more artistic photojournalism.

Posted by Julien February 4, 11 12:14 PM

Uh, good pics.
Oh god.

Posted by McPitininha February 4, 11 12:16 PM

Nice pictures.
In #16 is he burning what I think he is burning?

Posted by G February 4, 11 12:22 PM

Number 28 looks very much like the place of the last scene of Full Metal Jacket !

Posted by Un Oeil February 4, 11 12:23 PM

Great pictures, as always. Is there a way to view the exif data of these photos?

Posted by Dash February 4, 11 12:24 PM


Posted by Anonymous February 4, 11 12:24 PM

love the pictures and that im first to comment

Posted by jeremy February 4, 11 12:25 PM

Amazing pictures, as always...

Posted by Marko February 4, 11 12:28 PM

#16 is no normal fire..

Posted by R. Vince February 4, 11 12:43 PM

Stunning pictures! Esp the ones in B&W

Posted by Klajjan February 4, 11 12:44 PM

Another moving set of photographs, thanks.
Picture #21 looks like a movie scene from 'Star Wars'.

Posted by Norbert February 4, 11 12:49 PM

love the aerial views!

Posted by elmo February 4, 11 12:56 PM

Wow! great photos...again!

Posted by Gerard February 4, 11 12:57 PM

Great set of photos!

Posted by Rob February 4, 11 01:04 PM

Thank you.

Posted by B.C.L. February 4, 11 01:07 PM

When this will end?
Lets hope NATO re-think their policy of troops deployment in Afghanistan.

Posted by Sibashish February 4, 11 01:27 PM

Excellent photos. Thanks for the insight to the conflict abroad. Stay safe troops!

Posted by Lazy Mobster February 4, 11 01:34 PM

big up, make love not war!!

Posted by helle February 4, 11 01:39 PM

I like these pictures the most in the last view publishings. great pictures.

Posted by Johannes February 4, 11 01:40 PM


Posted by Favio February 4, 11 01:43 PM

Beautiful pictures, for such a sad reality.

Posted by Filipe Abreu February 4, 11 01:43 PM

i love to see all of your photos. :D

Posted by February 4, 11 01:43 PM

#16 that's no ordinary fire he is sitting next to the deposits from the latrines mixed with fuel, ewww.

Posted by Cbenn February 4, 11 01:49 PM

Stunning photos as always, especially the b/w by Kevin Frayer.
Great that you include more nationalities (the French) rather than focusing on the US armed forces.

Posted by Rasmus Kofod February 4, 11 01:51 PM

Impressive pictures in this Afghanistan episode, again. It provides a clear and honoust view of the war activities. For #33: the hopelessly expression in her face. Very touching.

Much respect and support from, in this case, the Netherlands, for all the involved coalition persons, as well as their families at home.

Posted by Frank February 4, 11 02:01 PM

that last b&w set is amazing

Posted by John February 4, 11 02:05 PM

Thanks for keeping this vital series going.

Posted by Patrick February 4, 11 02:14 PM

The Osprey shown in #12 is a tilt-rotor aircraft, not a helicopter.

Posted by Bruce February 4, 11 02:18 PM

The B&W pictures are AMAZING!

Posted by littlebugger February 4, 11 02:21 PM

Hey, I´m first :) Stunning monochromes by Kevin!

Posted by Simon February 4, 11 02:26 PM

Itsa a STOL not a helicopter

Posted by patt February 4, 11 02:37 PM

#12 is actually of a V-22 Osprey, a tilt rotor aircraft, not a helicopter. Very nice photo none the less.

Posted by MaxxDragon February 4, 11 02:54 PM

Achingly beautiful photos, artistic journalism, I was riveted to the end. Our soldiers are real heroes.

Posted by Virginia Saunders February 4, 11 03:05 PM

Beautiful, arresting images as always.

Posted by Michael February 4, 11 03:10 PM

USAF Comm troop and Public Affairs Photography NCO serving in Afghanistan...
Thanks AP/Reuters/Private Photographers that risk your necks out there with us to tell our story.

Posted by F-DIZZLE February 4, 11 03:12 PM

Yeah, #12's an Osprey, an aircraft capable of VTOL. Though maybe it's classified as a helicopter, I don't know.

Posted by mdmadph February 4, 11 03:17 PM

Absolut fabulous the photo collection

Posted by Javier Rodríguez Álvarez February 4, 11 03:39 PM

Informative pictures! #16, the soldier is watching burning poop. I'm sure they don't have a septic tank in forward operating bases.
Democracy certainly isn't painless. It just a shame we have to lose so many soldiers and civilian to accomplish the mission.
I wonder how many hundreds of years before mankind decide to stop all the hate and misery.

Posted by Jon S February 4, 11 04:21 PM

Awesome work! Love the black and white set.

Posted by February 4, 11 05:54 PM

47 is not a game of soccer. No goals, no ball. It could more likely be the markings of foundations for a building.

Posted by StevieG February 4, 11 08:16 PM

wow, the b/w images are special...a toast on real fotojournalism

Posted by efendi February 4, 11 08:19 PM

Too many "marines this, marines that"! Compared to former Afghanistan entries, not as good and interesting(except for 36-48, those are brilliant).

Posted by Anna J. February 4, 11 08:54 PM

Thx for the pics of French Army guys... Unfortunately, here in France, we have too few information about your guys there :-/

Posted by Ben February 5, 11 05:38 AM

@57 is correct, picture 47 is them marking the foundations for a building, not playing soccer.

Posted by Liam February 5, 11 06:53 AM

#21 Amazing!

Posted by christine February 5, 11 08:35 AM

wonderful photos that bring a real sense of the situation in which our sons and daughters live and fight -- thank you ver much from an army mom

Posted by marianne February 5, 11 08:58 AM

So far from our all day life!
Great pictures as usual with your series!

Posted by Guillaume February 5, 11 09:39 AM

These are amazing photographs!! God Bless our troops and may the Afghan People soon have peace in their land!

Posted by Jeri February 5, 11 11:08 AM

Kevin Frayers pictures are AMAZING!!!! Great job ;)

Posted by Tomáš Somr February 5, 11 11:14 AM

...Kevin Frayers shots are amaaaazeing ! ! ! Great job ;)

Posted by Tomáš Somr February 5, 11 11:17 AM

Just a small info. : there are soldiers from a lot of countries in Afganistan and the country from which i am , Romania , is the second after the U.S.A. at the number of troops !

I think it would be nice if you could post some pics not from Romanian camps only but from all the other international army camps beside the U.S. ones .

Posted by Serban February 5, 11 11:55 AM

Pix 8 thru 22 were taken by Dmitry Kostyukov, must be Russian. There's a bit of irony in that, a Russian photog with US Marines on deployment in Afghanistan... The landscapes are not different from how we saw them 30 years ago.

I wish all soldiers and marines in these pix a safe return to their families.

Posted by Evgeniy G. February 5, 11 12:40 PM

@1 Believe me this poor people want to live a normal life as we do, but because of illiteracy, no proper work and poverty makes these people easy target for trouble makers who take advantage of their situation to press their agenda.

Posted by taj February 5, 11 06:55 PM

Really? Black and white? Really?

Posted by Jack February 5, 11 07:52 PM

Really good and touching photos

Posted by Stefpenny Eric February 5, 11 08:45 PM

The Marine in #9 is just a child, himself.
#36-48 are incredible.

Posted by Sarah February 6, 11 01:12 AM

The B&W serie is indescribable beautiful!

Posted by Erik February 6, 11 05:31 AM

Awesome reality needs to be on prime time tele. #9 is a woman!!!

Posted by Jane February 6, 11 11:20 AM

Number 21 is breathtaking.
But number 34, to me, was heartbreaking. All of the pictures leading up to it depicted the bombing and tragic death but then number 34 showed an advertisement for a fancy watch amongst the rubble. I think that it is sad how wrapped up in our own comfortable worlds, where bad days are made up of a car breaking down, or running out of toilet-paper. I know that I worry about so many little things that make no difference, like the watch ad, but others are truly struggling and living in fear.

Posted by Cassidy February 6, 11 01:15 PM

#24 They found Bin Laden... look to the rock ^^

Posted by Voltaire February 6, 11 01:23 PM

this war will never end.. it must keep going to support the american industrial complex economy.. truly sad

Posted by hhosu February 6, 11 03:31 PM

"@1 Believe me this poor people want to live a normal life as we do, but because of illiteracy, no proper work and poverty makes these people easy target for trouble makers who take advantage of their situation to press their agenda."

I totally agree. I hope that the smart part of the US will force their leaders to send their own children to the front lines so that all the GIs can support their families at home!

September the 11th 2011 will be the End of Fear!

Posted by Dino February 6, 11 06:45 PM

Amazing absolutely amazing

Posted by CJ February 6, 11 07:34 PM

It's great!!! Beautiful B&W photos.

Posted by Purohit February 6, 11 07:43 PM

Great pics from's time to rap this war up, figure out another strategy...probably should have done it from the begining.

Posted by Robert February 6, 11 09:17 PM

I really don't know why we bother getting involved in these types of intra-nation conflicts. We never learn from past experiences - in my lifetime alone there has been Indo-china, Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq, just repeats itself.

Better to walk away and let the Afghans have at each other and be done with it.

Posted by Trevor February 6, 11 11:46 PM

The latest images from Afganistan are amazing. I do have one minor correction to make: in picture 16 the Marine is actually pulling a detail familiar to anyone who fought in Vietnam - the burning of human waste collected from makeshift latrines on base. He is sitting on a can of fuel used to douse the cutoff barrels before lighting. The odor, once experienced, remains in your memory forever.

Posted by John Stetter February 7, 11 12:20 AM

# 47 isn't soccer!
it is called "WAANJHU"

Posted by Anonymous February 7, 11 01:14 AM

this is to see is said.....

Posted by ali hasan February 7, 11 04:33 AM

Ummm, poster 82 (Robert) - you mean "wrap", as in wrapping paper, not "rap", as in the so-called music style.

Posted by Brian February 7, 11 04:53 AM

@Cassidy, you made me look at number 34 again. Tag Heuer's message 'What are you made of?' and the glass strewn on the ground speak volumes to me

Posted by drop box February 7, 11 12:24 PM

Comment # 10. It's an Osprey.

Posted by j February 7, 11 12:29 PM

beautiful photos~

Posted by LM February 8, 11 01:31 AM

#47 is a game known as shake and not soccer...

Posted by Hussein February 8, 11 06:25 AM

#25 - Something tells me that the Taliban has their own version of this leaflet...

Posted by Joshua February 8, 11 11:02 AM

Brilliant images!!! Left me speechless.....
The pics truly depict how can a picture say a thousand words.
I salute all the troops posted there and pray for the civilians well being......

Posted by Anand February 8, 11 12:35 PM

Stunning photography!

Posted by Shazy February 8, 11 03:35 PM

Awesome B&W images by Kevin Frayer!

Posted by Anonymous February 8, 11 06:35 PM

Nice romantic report of an absurd and hopeless vacation in central Asia...

Posted by Robert_K February 9, 11 04:47 AM

#47 is not a soccer. i don't know its name in English but here in Pakistan , in Punjabi language we call it wanjo.

Posted by muaz February 9, 11 09:42 AM

las pix son excelentes, y a todos nos hacen reflexionar, la guerra es una mierda, que hacemos???? I´m soldier and MD

Posted by ariel February 9, 11 10:12 PM

awesome photos

Posted by sam February 10, 11 09:39 AM

really amazing click !!!

Posted by Rajeev Ranjan February 11, 11 02:18 AM

47 is not a game of soccer.Its a game called 'Gallery' also played in the streets of India. It doesn't involve a ball, yet it might have some rules similar to american football.

Posted by Nitin February 11, 11 02:59 AM

what a beautiful country naturally beautiful...Thanks

Posted by sean February 12, 11 08:59 AM

really superb pics........

Posted by azhar February 13, 11 12:31 AM

Those are amazingly beautiful...Please keep telling this story!!!

Posted by Roseanne B. February 15, 11 09:40 PM

B&W Photographs Are great! The ones before are shown like shown in a very heroic way, but I think this all started as the interest of a group of persons manipulating an army, for a finance purpose. So glad to hear that is going to an end, innocent lives were lost, other were put on risk, in both parties. These are tattoos or mind portraits we shopuld keep to avoid the confussion between justice and the evil actions to control people. We all need more world citizens, than thinking that there are friends and enemies.

Posted by Aldo 69 February 16, 11 10:36 PM

Lots of International Fatcats and Afghan Warlords making LOTS of USA Tax-Funded Profits and Prophets....

Get it ? Cheney sure does.

Google...."Rare Earth Elements, War, Afghanistan"

Posted by Like Ike February 17, 11 12:11 PM

Beautiful and haunting images. #21 just takes my breath away, I can just imagine how awesome the night sky in rural Afghanistan is. No matter how much hatred we spew at each other down here, no matter how many conflicts we have because of petty things, the stars in the night sky will always remain indifferent and unchanging. Our concerns are meaningless in the universal scheme of things...

Posted by Firefly February 19, 11 05:48 AM

Thanks to all press photographers risking their lifes.

Posted by eric February 22, 11 04:56 AM

i can simply say please leave pakistan and afghanistan and adopt policy of live and let us live. we dont want any of your help we are happy if we do not have food to eat. please leave our country we dont want you here

Posted by ihsan ullah khan February 23, 11 01:13 PM

#47 - that is not soccer! It is a local game, in India (Maharashtra) called as "sur-paatya" might be called something else there.

Posted by Sameer March 2, 11 06:54 PM

nice photo...

Posted by esteward mamaril March 5, 11 09:14 PM

impressive photos...US army is well equiped but not enough good, if they can live and fight as a Taliban does they will be able to defeat them.

Posted by phuc March 6, 11 03:21 AM

impressive photos...US army is well equiped but not good enough, if they can live and fight as a Taliban does they will be able to defeat them.

Posted by phuc March 6, 11 03:22 AM

very nice photography

Posted by himalion March 24, 11 11:56 PM

I'm in pics 4-6. Kevin actually helped the medics with certain things on the bird when i was medevac out. Thanks Kevin. Great pictures.

Posted by Anonymous April 6, 11 05:15 PM
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