Afghanistan: April 2012

For nearly three years now, I've been posting monthly photo essays on the war in Afghanistan, and a question I hear fairly often is, "Why do you do this?" My intent is to continue to focus attention on what is actually happening on the ground -- far from policy debates or speeches. As long as we, as a nation, are sending thousands of men and women into harm's way and tasking them with acting on our behalf in a foreign country, we need to be aware of what we are asking them to do, what their lives are like, and what the lives of the Afghan people are like. This is true even if the conflict has been going on for more than a decade -- and even if we don't all agree on whether we should be there at all. As of April 12, 120,000 soldiers from 50 nations are committed to Afghanistan, with 90,000 of them from the United States. All are working toward the planned 2014 withdrawal. Gathered here are images of those involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.

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