Afghanistan: November 2012

Most media attention paid to Afghanistan this month revolved around a scandal involving General David Petraeus and General John Allen, the two most recent U.S. military commanders there. However, that scandal has had little or no impact on daily life in Afghanistan. Of greater concern there is the continued insecurity. As the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops approaches, people are leaving Afghanistan at a higher rate than they have since 2002. Iran and Saudi Arabia, rivals for regional influence, are making investments in the country's infrastructure, each hoping to be the stronger partner after 2014. But it's far from clear what the future will bring. These photos show just a glimpse of this conflict over the past month, part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan. [37 photos total]

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Traffic moves past the Abdul Rahman Khan Great Mosque, on November 18, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
A young garbage collector blocks the camera with his hand as he avoids being photographed at a garbage dump on the outskirts of Kabul, on November 15, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
Afghan Shi'ite Muslim men flagellate themselves during a Muharram procession in Kabul, on November 24, 2012. Ashura, which falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
A U.S soldier observes the area from a hilltop near the town of Walli Was in Paktika province, near the border with Pakistan, on November 5, 2012. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
Afghan orphans line up at an orphanage in Kandahar, on November 19, 2012. Two decades of war in Afghanistan has left some one million orphans and abandoned children across the country. (Mamoon Durrani/AFP/Getty Images) #
Workers from a scrap-yard and Afghan Pashtun boys, who say they were forced from the troubled province of Baglan due to threats from the Taliban, warm themselves by a fire near to a garbage dump site in Kabul, on November 14, 2012. Children working at the garbage site in Kabul said they can make up to 90 Afghanis (USD $1.75) per day collecting cans and other recyclable materials for sale. If they were to stay and work in their home province, with limited options for employment, and join the Police or Army, the Taliban threatened they would come for them and their families, they said. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
U.S. Navy HM3 Josh Gibson of Fox Co, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Regiment trims his mustache in the side mirror of an armored vehicle at Combat Outpost Now Zad in Helmand province, southwestern Afghanistan, on November 10, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
A view of the French military Camp Nijrab in Kapisa province, on November 20, 2012. France ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on November 20, withdrawing troops from a strategic province northeast of Kabul as part of a quickened departure from the war-torn country. Paris says all French combat soldiers will leave the country next month, two years before allied nations contributing to the 100,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the United States are due to depart. (Joris Fioriti/AFP/Getty Images) #
A U.S. Marine Osprey prepares to land at Combat Outpost Muza Qal-Ah in Helmand province, on November 11, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
Paris, a coalition force military working dog, drinks water in Farah province, on November 26, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau) #
Gunner Fiona Pead from the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Highland Gunners) leans forward to check the line before taking part in a homecoming parade, to mark their return from serving in Afghanistan, in Dundee, Scotland, on November 13, 2012. (Reuters/David Moir) #
Crosses dedicated to soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan, displayed in the Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in London, on November 8, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
People grieve at a gravesite in Section 60, an area where members of the U.S. military who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, during Veterans Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2012. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst) #
A transfer case containing the remains of Army Spc. Daquane D. Rivers of Marianna, Florida, sits at the end of the loader ramp during a foggy night, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on Saturday, March 17, 2012. The Department of Defense announced the death of Rivers who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) #
A man stands in a cemetery at sunset in Kabul, on November 14, 2012. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
A member of Afghanistan's elite Civil Order Police looks through a window of his armored vehicle during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand province. As the U.S. and NATO close out their mission in Afghanistan preparing for the final withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014, the worry looms large that fresh outbursts of ethnically motivated fighting would send the country into a spiral of chaos and violence. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan men pull apart two fighting mastiffs during the weekly dog fights in Kabul, on November 16, 2012. Dog fighting was banned under the Taliban for being un-Islamic but it is now common practice. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
U.S soldiers blow up a roadside bomb set up by Taliban fighters near the town of Walli Was in Paktika province, near the border with Pakistan, on November 4, 2012. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
Ghazia Sadid, 26, a patient suffering from depression, pauses during an interview with Reuters at a mental hospital in Kabul, on November 14, 2012. The war in Afghanistan is creating a generation of people mentally damaged by their exposure to incessant conflict, a buildup of problems which could undermine the country's reconstruction and development efforts. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
An Afghan man sits with a cage of quails on a hill in Kabul, on November 12, 2012. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
An Afghan knife maker shapes out a knife at his store at the Ka Faroshi Bird Market in the Old City in Kabul, on November 15, 2012. The Ka Faroshi Bird Market is a narrow lane-way tucked away behind the Pul-e Khishti Mosque that is lined with stalls selling birds by the dozen. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Members of the Afghan security force survey a wide field of debris from a bomb blast in Wardak province, on November 23, 2012. A suicide truck bomb killed two people and wounded more than 70 in volatile eastern Afghanistan, officials said, with several foreign troops among those injured. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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An Afghan security officer takes fingerprints of a dead body at the scene of a suicide attack in Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, on November 21, 2012. A suicide bomber blew himself up near a NATO base in Kabul's diplomatic district, hitting a military vehicle and killing two people, police and security officials said. (Jawad Jalali/AFP/Getty Images) #
NATO troops inspect the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, on November 21, 2012. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
U.S. made M-16s, laid out in rows at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) in Kabul, on November 10, 2012. The ANA, with approximately 195,000 soldiers is experiencing difficult times, as about a third of the Afghan army is lost each year to desertion and low re-enlistment rates, news sources report. Additional vetting has been introduced since recent attacks on Western soldiers by members of the Afghan military. Deserters offer numerous reasons for leaving before their service is over: corruption, poor food and equipment, and Taliban intimidation of their families. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
A view of Qargha Lake near Kabul, on November 8, 2012. Qargha Lake is a popular destination for swimming and boating. The Spojmai Hotel located on the banks of Lake Qargha was attacked by the Taliban in June 2012. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Internally displaced Afghan children play at a refugee camp in Kabul, on November 12, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
An Afghan border policeman points his rifle at a detained suspected Taliban fighter as he poses for pictures for a colleague near the town of Walli Was in Paktika province, on November 4, 2012. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
An orthopedic technician works to make a mold of an artificial limb at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), orthopedic center in Kabul, on November 20, 2012. The ICRC rehabilitation center works to educate and rehabilitate land-mine victims, and those with limb related deformities, back into society and employment offering micro-credit financing, home schooling and vocational training to patients. The clinic itself is unique in that all of the workers are handicapped. The ICRC center in Kabul has registered over 57,000 patients and 114,000 countrywide in all of their centers since its inception 25 years ago. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carry the coffin of Captain Walter Barrie after his funeral service at Glencorse Kirk near Edinburgh, Scotland, on November 29, 2012. Captain Barrie, of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots), was playing in a soccer match between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) on Remembrance Day at their base in Helmand province in Afghanistan, when he was shot by a rogue member of the Afghan army, according to local media. (Reuters/David Moir) #
Afghan refugees family returning from Pakistan look at sample explosives and mines during an awareness program at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center in Mommand Dara district in Jalalabad province, on November 20, 2012. (Reuters/Parwiz) #
A member of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) escorts captured Taliban insurgents as they are presented to the media in Ghazni province, on November 17, 2012. Afghan forces captured nine Taliban members and seized their weapons during an operation on Friday night. (Reuters/Mustafa Andaleb) #
An Afghan man bowls at Strikers ten pin bowling alley in Kabul, on November 9, 2012. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #
Marines and sailors look upon a stage of battle crosses memorializing fallen service members during a remembrance service at the movie theater aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on November 29, 2012. During the service, those in attendance paid their respects to the 31 Marines, sailors and Georgian soldiers who died while serving under Regimental Combat Team 6. (USMC/Cpl. Ed Galo) #
A Nomad mother takes care of her child inside her tent on the outskirts of Jalalabad province, on November 25, 2012. (Reuters/Parwiz) #
An ANA member of the bomb-disposal unit takes part to a demonstration of IED neutralization near the French base in Naghlu, on November 19, 2012. (Reuters/Eric Gaillard) #
Trinity, 10, hugs her father, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mitchell Liming, during an arrival ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort Carson, Colorado, on November 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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