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Sabtu, 24 September 2011


Private Chad Payton, 21, of Louisville, Ky., prepares to load a 120mm high-explosive mortar round in support of an Afghan outpost under attack by insurgents on Sept. 14 in Kunar province.

Tribal elders say the Taliban are far from defeated. The Taliban continue to wage a brutal war, taking a toll on Afghan citizens and American forces. The Department of Defense has identified 1,761 American service members who have died in the Afghan war and related operations as of Sept. 21, about 10 years since the start of the war. In visiting Afghanistan monthly in The Big Picture, we try to reflect our troops presence in the country as well as their interaction with the Afghan people.

The United States, which had largely pulled out of Kunar province, has recently moved troops, including the 27th Infantry Regiment, back in as part of an effort to take the battle to Taliban strongholds. The mountainous region of Kunar borders Pakistan and is often a transit point for Taliban between the countries.
US soldiers from the 27th Infantry Regiment fire 120-mm mortar rounds toward insurgent positions at Outpost Monti in Kunar province on Sept. 17. After a decade of fighting in Afghanistan, 130,000 troops from dozens of countries continue to battle resilient Taliban, who use homemade bombs and guerrilla tactics in a bid to undermine the Afghan government and the NATO mission.

Specialist Gart Kamon, of the 27th Infantry Regiment, is peppered with stones after firing mortar rounds at Outpost Monti in Kunar province.

A muddied Gart Kamon, an Army specialist, is part of the coalition effort to help Afghan troops take control of restive Kunar province.

A US soldier from the 2-27 Infantry's "Wolfhounds" takes cover during a firefight with the Taliban at Outpost Bari Alai in Ghaziabad district in Kunar on Sept. 15.

Lieutenant Steve Grizley of the 2-27 Infantry "Wolfhounds" takes care of some grooming during a lull at Outpost Bari Alai in Ghaziabad district in Kunar.

A US soldier observes a bombing strike from a US fighter jet during a firefight at Outpost Bari Alai in Kunar on Sept. 15.

US soldiers fire 60mm mortar rounds toward a Taliban position during a firefight at Outpost Bari Alai, in Kunar. ign:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 218px;" src="" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5655924510215215170" />
A US fighter jet drops bombs at Taliban positions during a firefight at Outpost Bari Alai.

A convoy passed a village, as viewed from a bunker at Outpost Bari Alai in Kunar.

A soldier from Task Force "No Fear" of the 2-27 Infantry brushes his teeth between machine guns at his post in the bunker of Outpost Bari Alai in Kunar.

Soldiers with the 27th Infantry Regiment fire a 120mm mortar round from Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province.

The rotors of a landing Blackhawk helicopter kick up dust and debris around Second Lieutenant Andrew Ferrara at the Shigal district center in Kunar province on Sept. 15. Ferrara is helping coordinate a meeting with village leaders.

A truck carries villagers near Outpost Bari Alai in Kunar.

Afghan medics take fingerprints from one of the Taliban militants killed during a gun battle with Afghan and NATO forces in Kabul on Sept. 14.

Afghan security men and media members gather around the body of a militant at a building in Kabul on Sept. 14. The brazen 20-hour attack demonstrated the ability of the Taliban to strike terror in the heart of the capital.

Sergeant Matt Murray, 25, of Warwick, R.I., greets Second Lieutenant Andrew Ferrara while hiking up to an observation post on Sept. 12 at Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province.

US soldiers walk toward the Kuschamond forward base in Paktika province. So far, the 10-year war has cost America $444 billion. There are currently approximately 130,000 NATO-led forces in Afghanistan; 100,000 of them from the United States.

Afghan war amputees and children practice walking at the International Committee of the Red Cross orthopedic center on Sept. 10 in Kabul. After more than 30 years of war and a decade since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, thousands of Afghans, both military and civilian, continue to pay a heavy price from the conflicts. The center makes prosthetics for amputees and helps them, as well as Afghans with spinal injuries and children with congenital birth defects, to learn to walk.

An orthopedic technician adjusts a prosthetic leg for a war amputee at an International Committee of the Red Cross center in Kabul.

Afghan women listen to a trainer during an animal husbandry class on Sept. 8 in Kabul. The program, run by the Afghan Women Rights Organization, is aimed at educating women on ways to raise their household income. The program is funded by the US Ambassador's Small Grants Program and USAID.

An Afghan woman milks a cow during an animal husbandry class, September 8, 2011 in Kabul.

An Afghan vollunteer weighs a child at a USAID-funded health help center, September 7, 2011 in Farza, Afghanistan. More than $2 billion of American development money will be spent in Afghanistan in 2011. The goal is to provide basic health services for Afghans throughout the nation and to lower Afghanistan's child and maternal mortality rate, among the highest in the world.

Female would-be Afghan lawmakers attend a protest in front of the Afghan Presidential palace in Kabul, September 7, 2011. Hundreds of supporters of would-be Afghan lawmakers, declared winners by a court but losers by an election body, blocked a main junction in downtown Kabul, the latest scene in a long-running political crisis.

Supplies for US Army troops overlook the Hindu Kush mountains at Observation Post Mustang in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The area, in northeastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, is a major infiltration route by Taliban fighters coming across from Pakistan and has seen some of the heaviest fighting of the war.

US Army soldiers from the 2-27th Infantry Regiment work out at Observation Post Mustang.

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