TIME’s photo editors bring you the best pictures from the front lines from around the world, and the home front.
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Interesting. ISAF moved into the Pech River valley, Kunar Province, in 2006 with outposts. Counterinsurgency was the brilliant new U.S. strategy that promised to turn around a faltering war. Well-meaning commanders and their advisers built more than 40 bases there, constructing roads to share the benefits of civilization with the region’s tribes. The people would then be secured and controlled by the Afghan government, the plan went, making it difficult for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to operate nearby.
This was deemed a failure last year and the outposts were supposedly withdrawn. NYTimes, Feb 24, 2011: KABUL, Afghanistan — After years of fighting for control of a prominent valley in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the United States military has begun to pull back most of its forces from ground it once insisted was central to the campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
The withdrawal from the Pech Valley, a remote region in Kunar Province, formally began on Feb. 15. The military projects that it will last about two months, part of a shift of Western forces to the province’s more populated areas. Afghan units will remain in the valley, a test of their military readiness. (end NYT)
And now we have a number of current photos of soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment at Combat Outpost Nangalam in the Pech River Valley, doing not much of anything.