Afghanistan: September 2011

Ten Years. Troops from the United States and other coalition forces have now been in Afghanistan for a decade, following the initial bombing raids carried out by the U.S. on October 7, 2001. My father served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and I remember a conversation I had with him shortly after the attacks of September 11, where he said to me, "Son, I really hoped your generation wouldn't have to go through something like this." There are teenagers now who were just toddlers when their parents first deployed to Afghanistan. As a photo editor, I've been curating an entry about Afghanistan once a month for the past two years, and plan to continue to do so. The U.S. and some 35 other coalition nations currently have more than 130,000 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, and it's important for us to see what they are dealing with, what we've asked them to do for so long -- and to see those who are so directly affected by this long conflict, the Afghan people themselves. Although the U.S. has been involved for a decade, the people of Afghanistan have known nothing but war for more than 30 years now. Gathered here are images from there over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. [41 photos total]

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Shahmal (right), 8, and Rahmatullah, 7, who lost their father after U.S. a night raid, pose for a portrait in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on August 20, 2011. The boys' older brother, Abdullah, dreamed of being an interpreter and got good grades until U.S. soldiers arrived at night and shot his father and elder brother. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood) #
A soldier, part of the coalition forces, holds his weapon during a gun battle with Taliban militants in a building in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
A NATO helicopter flies over the building from where Taliban fighters attacked the most heavily protected part of Kabul on September 14, 2011. A coordinated Taliban assault on the Afghan capital was quelled on September 14 after raging for 19 hours in a hail of rockets, grenades and suicide blasts that left 14 dead and six foreign troops wounded. The standoff ended when troops finally killed the two last insurgents who had held out overnight in a high-rise building under construction just a few hundred meters from the heavily guarded US embassy. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan policeman walks over the dead body of an insurgent on September 14, 2011 inside the building where Taliban fighters attacked the most heavily protected part of Kabul the day before. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
A view of Paktika province, Afghanistan, during a visit by Marine Gen. John R. Allen, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, on September 26, 2011. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Michael O'Connor) #
Cpl. Michael Garetz, a Marine Attack Squadron 513 ordnance technician and Comstock, Texas native, inspects flares loaded aboard one of the squadron's AV-8B Harriers on the flightline at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on September 29, 2011. (USMC/Pfc. Sean Dennison) #
Rishad Afzaly (right), from the Afghan rock band White Page, plays a guitar next to his band member Ratib Ramish during a workshop as part of preparations for Sound Central, a one-day "stealth festival", in Kabul, on September 20, 2011. Afghans are used to having their days broken by a burst of gunfire or the boom of an explosion. But the barrage of drumming, bass beats and amped-up guitar solos that will hit the city next week may stop many in their tracks. Organizers hope the festival will draw 1,000 to 2,000 young Afghans to the first music festival the country has seen since it plunged into three decades of violence in the late 1970s. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood) #
A burqa-clad Afghan woman poses for a photograph before she leaves her home in Kabul on September 28, 2011. Ten years after the Taliban was toppled, most of Afghan women continue wearing burqa - a cloth on top of their normal dress to cover them from the head to ankle. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan laborer watches soldiers from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company 2nd battalion 27th infantry regiment patrol near Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province, on September 15, 2011. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #
US army Private First Class Kyler King of the 2nd Platoon of Task Force 3-66, Bravo Company of the 172 Infantry Brigade has his head shaved by PFC Shawn Riggins (also 2nd Platoon) on September 6, 2011 in the FOB Kushamond. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Razor wire is silhouetted by the moonlight along the perimeter of the U.S. Army's Combat Outpost Monti, home of Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on September 10, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
A U.S. Marine Osprey flies at sundown, in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on September 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
Soldiers with the U.S. Army's Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment fire a 120mm illumination round during a firing mission on September 2, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
An illumination round falls over a historic insurgent fighting position in support of a night mission in the area by soldiers of the U.S. Army's Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment in Kunar province, Afghanistan, on September 14, 2011. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
Afghan IT specialist Masuma Asaghari checks anti-virus programs on a laptop purchased by USAID for the Afghan Civil Service Commission Appeals Board on September 6, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The U.S. government development agency plans to spend some $2.5 billion this year in Afghanistan on development projects throughout the country. (John Moore/Getty Images) #
Soldiers from Task Force 3-66 Bravo Company of the 172 Infantry Brigade bow their heads during a prayer to remember the victims of 9/11 before a ceremony at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kushamond on September 11, 2011. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Dark clouds over a tower at Forward Operating Base Kushamond in Paktika province on September 4, 2011. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Spc. Ricardo Guzman, 28, of Detroit, Michigan, with the U.S. Army's Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment climbs into the back of an armored vehicle before heading out on a night mission on September 13, 2011 at Combat Outpost Mont in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
Driver Spc Marcus Clay (right), of the 2nd platoon of Task Force 3-66 Bravo Company of the 172 Infantry Brigade, reacts after his M-ATV, an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), vehicle was blown up by an IED near the village of Nasow Khevl in the province of Paktika on September 9, 2011. None of the passengers were hurt by the explosion. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of 1st Lt. Ryan K. Iannelli on September 30, 2011 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. According to the Department of Defense, Iannelli, of Clarksboro, New Jersey, died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) #
The wife of Pfc. Tony J. Potter Jr. Emily Potter fights back tears as she receives a folded flag during his burial service at Okmulgee Cemetery, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, on September 17, 2011. Sitting with her are friend Katlyn Black (left), whose husband Spc. Terry Black served with Potter in Afghanistan, parents Tony Potter Sr. and Yvonne Potter. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, James Gibbard) #
A US army soldier from Bravo company 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment chats with family at Outpost Monti in Kunar province, on September 24, 2011. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #
US Specialist Taylor of Charlie Company 2-508 PIR 2nd Platoon members of the 2nd BTC, 101st ABN Div. (Air Assault) playfully gestures to a donkey during a joint patrol with members of the Afghan National Army in Arghandab Valley in Kandahar Province on August 3, 2010. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images) #
Spc. Westley Timbrook, 24, of Coweta, Oklahoma, center, with the U.S. Army's Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment is lit by the glow of a radio while talking with Cpl. Chad Ancona, 31, of Akron, Ohio, left, and Pfc. Cody Palmison, 20, of Phoenix, Arizona, right, during an overnight mission on September 4, 2011, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
Afghan boys try to hide behind their hats in the village of Hasti in the province of Paktika on September 3, 2011. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
23-year-old Najia (L) takes a rest next to her mother-in-law Noida and one-day baby Subhanallah at the Mailala Maternity hospital in Kabul on September 20, 2011. The war-torn country of Afghanistan with a population of nearly 30 million people, is one of the worst places in the world to be pregnant. It is estimated that one woman dies every 30 minutes from complications relating to pregnancy, according to a UNICEF report. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images) #
Thirteen year old Saboor jumps up on a skateboard at the Naderkhan Hill in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) #
US Army soldier Michelle Byrnes from the HHB 3-7 Field Artillery Regiment 3rd Bct 25th ID scans fingers of an Afghan man with Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) during a mission in Turkham Nangarhar bordering with Pakistan on September 28, 2011. Turkham is a border crossing town in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan and the Khyber Agency of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #
US Marine Sergeant Anthony Zabala of 1st Combat Engineering Battalion of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade runs to safety as an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explodes in Garmsir district of Helmand Province on July 13, 2009. A foot patrol was advancing painstakingly with metal detectors and bare hands to defuse bombs planted on a rough track when an explosion shot a cloud of dust and rocks into the sky in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province at dusk, killing Sergeant Michael W. Heede, Jr. and Staff Sgt. David S. Spicer. (Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Marine dog handler Sgt. Mark Behl, left, of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force K9 unit, and another Marine, perform first aid on U.S. Military working dog Drak, after he was wounded in a bomb attack, in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2011. Drak's own handler, Sgt Kenneth A. Fischer, was also wounded in the bomb attack, which also killed several civilians. Both Fischer and Drak were flown out of the country for surgery and recovery. Eventually, in line with military custom, Fischer will adopt Drak and take him home. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
Afghans are reflected in blood mixed water at the scene where Sabar Lal Melma, a former Guantanamo detainee was allegedly killed in a NATO and Afghan forces raid in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. NATO and Afghan forces killed the man who had become a key al-Qaida affiliate after returning to Afghanistan, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
This combination photograph shows the eyes of US soldiers belonging to 2nd Platoon of Task Force 3-66 Bravo Company 172nd Infantry Brigade stationed at Forward Operating Base Kushamond, on September 10, 2011. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer, 23, from Greensburg, Kentucky, bows his head after being awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on September 15, 2011. Cpl. Meyer was in Afghanistan's Kunar province in Sept. 2009 when he repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops. He is the first living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #
Kelly McNett looks for her husband Staff Sgt. Adam McNett's backpack before a homecoming ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California, on September 2, 2011. Approximately 270 Marines and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 1 returned to Camp Pendleton following a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
U.S. Army and Air Force soldiers hold hands in prayer on September 11, 2011 at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Ten years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and after almost a decade war in Afghanistan, American soldiers gathered for church services in commemoration of the day. (John Moore/Getty Images) #
Afghan boys paste a poster of Afghan national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud on a wall in Panjshir province September 7, 2011. At the entrance to Afghanistan's magnificent Panjshir Valley, an 84-year-old supporter of Ahmad Shah Massoud said his village was fully armed to fight a resurgent Taliban to the end. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #

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The body of a Taliban fighter lies on the ground in Combat Outpost Pirtle King, in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan September 27, 2011. Two members of the Taliban were killed while another was wounded and captured after a joint U.S.-Afghan military engaged them in firefight, supported by mortar and helicopter attacks near Combat Outpost Pirtle King in Kunar province. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
An Afghan soldier talks to a wounded captured Taliban fighter lying on a truck in Combat Outpost Pirtle King, in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan, on September 27, 2011. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
Marwah, a 16-month-old Afghan child suffering from severe malnutrition, is cradled by his mother at the Gandhi hospital in Kabul, on September 27, 2011. A study on the situation of nutrition in Afghanistan showed that over six percent of children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition (low ratio of weight to height) and 45-60 percent of children in the same age group suffer from chronic malnutrition, Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC) said in its recent report. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan orphans watch cartoons at the Satara Orphanage on September 6, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The orphanage is run by the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization, (AFCECO), which houses and cares for some 700 children throughout Afghanistan who have lost parents or been impoverished by the ongoing war. Funding comes mostly from individual American sponsors, and the U.S. government, through USAID, which funds afterschool programs for the children. (John Moore/Getty Images) #
A .50 caliber machine gun points towards Taliban positions from Observation Post Mustang on September 2, 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The area, in the Hindu Kush mountains in northeastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, is considered a major infiltration route by Taliban fighters coming across from Pakistan and has seen some of the heaviest fighting of the war. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

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