Inside Afghanistan’s Most Dangerous Corner

What reporting from Afghanistan’s unruliest province signals about the future of the country, the influence of Iran and Pakistan, and whether Trump’s mini-surge will make a difference in the longest war.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

With the recent news that President Donald Trump intends to send some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandon the focus of nation building, and put more pressure on Pakistan. But how has that news been received inside Afghanistan (and Pakistan), and will this new approach and relatively small additional military force actually make a difference on the ground?

On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for print Rebecca Frankel sits down with Paul McLeary to discuss “On the Edge of Afghanistan,” a feature story from FP’s latest print edition with writer Sune Engel Rasmussen and photographer Andrew Quilty. The pair traveled to Nimruz, one of the country’s most dangerous provinces — rife with smugglers, addicts, and Afghans looking to cross the border into Iran in search of better paying jobs. If Nimruz is, as Rasmussen writes, “a microcosm of what has gone wrong in the Afghan war,” what does their reporting reveal about the future of Afghanistan?

Sune Engel Rasmussen is a correspondent for the Guardian, splitting his time between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is one of the few remaining foreign reporters in the country. Follow him on Twitter: @SuneEngel

With the recent news that President Donald Trump intends to send some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandon the focus of nation building, and put more pressure on Pakistan. But how has that news been received inside Afghanistan (and Pakistan), and will this new approach and relatively small additional military force actually make a difference on the ground?

On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for print Rebecca Frankel sits down with Paul McLeary to discuss “On the Edge of Afghanistan,” a feature story from FP’s latest print edition with writer Sune Engel Rasmussen and photographer Andrew Quilty. The pair traveled to Nimruz, one of the country’s most dangerous provinces — rife with smugglers, addicts, and Afghans looking to cross the border into Iran in search of better paying jobs. If Nimruz is, as Rasmussen writes, “a microcosm of what has gone wrong in the Afghan war,” what does their reporting reveal about the future of Afghanistan?

Sune Engel Rasmussen is a correspondent for the Guardian, splitting his time between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is one of the few remaining foreign reporters in the country. Follow him on Twitter: @SuneEngel

Andrew Quilty is photojournalist who has been based out of Kabul for the last four years. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewquilty

Paul McLeary is FP’s senior reporter covering the U.S. Defense Department and national security issues. Follow him on Twitter: @paulmcleary

Rebecca Frankel is the executive editor of Foreign Policy’s print magazine. She is the author of War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, a New York Times bestselling book about canines in combat. Follow her on Twitter: @becksfrankel

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