A U.S. Marine watches as an Osprey carrying U.S. Secretary  of Defense Leon Panetta arrives March 14 at Forward Operating Base  Shukvani, Afghanistan.While confusion remains after reports of a burning vehicle near his plane, Panetta went ahead with his talk to troops and left unharmed. 
A U.S. Marine watches as an Osprey carrying U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta arrives March 14 at Forward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan.While confusion remains after reports of a burning vehicle near his plane, Panetta went ahead with his talk to troops and left unharmed. 

Southern Discomfort

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A U.S. Marine watches as an Osprey carrying U.S. Secretary  of Defense Leon Panetta arrives March 14 at Forward Operating Base  Shukvani, Afghanistan.While confusion remains after reports of a burning vehicle near his plane, Panetta went ahead with his talk to troops and left unharmed. 
A U.S. Marine watches as an Osprey carrying U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta arrives March 14 at Forward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan.While confusion remains after reports of a burning vehicle near his plane, Panetta went ahead with his talk to troops and left unharmed. 

A U.S. Marine watches as an Osprey carrying U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta arrives March 14 at Forward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan.While confusion remains after reports of a burning vehicle near his plane, Panetta went ahead with his talk to troops and left unharmed. 

A mourner cries over the bodies of Afghan civilians,  allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier, seen loaded into the back of a truck in  the Alkozai village of Panjwayi district on March 11. NATO's International Security Assistance Force says it has arrested a  soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar  province."
A mourner cries over the bodies of Afghan civilians, allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier, seen loaded into the back of a truck in the Alkozai village of Panjwayi district on March 11. NATO's International Security Assistance Force says it has arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province."

A mourner cries over the bodies of Afghan civilians, allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier, seen loaded into the back of a truck in the Alkozai village of Panjwayi district on March 11. NATO's International Security Assistance Force says it has arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province."

U.S. soldiers used a metal detector as they searched for  mines in a field during a gathering of elders in the Ghourak district of the  Kandahar province on March 10. Ghourak came under the control of  Afghanistan's forces with the help of international forces only recently.
U.S. soldiers used a metal detector as they searched for mines in a field during a gathering of elders in the Ghourak district of the Kandahar province on March 10. Ghourak came under the control of Afghanistan's forces with the help of international forces only recently.

U.S. soldiers used a metal detector as they searched for mines in a field during a gathering of elders in the Ghourak district of the Kandahar province on March 10. Ghourak came under the control of Afghanistan's forces with the help of international forces only recently.

Panetta's visit and the U.S. soldier's attack on civilians came at a moment of heightened   tensions in Afghanistan, after reports that U.S. troops had ordered copies of the Quran burned.   Above, a wounded Afghan boy stands at the gate of Bagram Airbase  during a protest against Quran desecration on Feb. 21.   Guards  at Bagram Airbase responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower.
Panetta's visit and the U.S. soldier's attack on civilians came at a moment of heightened tensions in Afghanistan, after reports that U.S. troops had ordered copies of the Quran burned. Above, a wounded Afghan boy stands at the gate of Bagram Airbase during a protest against Quran desecration on Feb. 21. Guards at Bagram Airbase responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower.


Panetta's visit and the U.S. soldier's attack on civilians came at a moment of heightened tensions in Afghanistan, after reports that U.S. troops had ordered copies of the Quran burned. Above, a wounded Afghan boy stands at the gate of Bagram Airbase during a protest against Quran desecration on Feb. 21. Guards at Bagram Airbase responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower.

A U.S. Marine runs to safety as an IED explodes in the Garmsir district of Helmand province on July 13, 2009. A foot patrol had advanced 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, killing Sgt. Michael W. Heede Junior and Staff  Sgt. David S. Spicer. The unit had been in Afghanistan only months as part of a  surge of 21,000 extra U.S. troops sent to quell the Taliban insurgency.
A U.S. Marine runs to safety as an IED explodes in the Garmsir district of Helmand province on July 13, 2009. A foot patrol had advanced 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, killing Sgt. Michael W. Heede Junior and Staff Sgt. David S. Spicer. The unit had been in Afghanistan only months as part of a surge of 21,000 extra U.S. troops sent to quell the Taliban insurgency.

A U.S. Marine runs to safety as an IED explodes in the Garmsir district of Helmand province on July 13, 2009. A foot patrol had advanced 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, killing Sgt. Michael W. Heede Junior and Staff Sgt. David S. Spicer. The unit had been in Afghanistan only months as part of a surge of 21,000 extra U.S. troops sent to quell the Taliban insurgency.

A U.S. soldier walks in the dust inside an abandoned house in Haji  Ghaffar village after blowing up an unexploded tank round during a clearance  patrol in the Zari district of Kandahar province on Dec. 27, 2010. U.S. Army  soldiers patrolled the abandoned village of Haji Ghaffar to clear the area from  explosives as Afghan villagers moved back to their homes. The residents left  their village about three years ago when it turned into a battlefield.  
A U.S. soldier walks in the dust inside an abandoned house in Haji Ghaffar village after blowing up an unexploded tank round during a clearance patrol in the Zari district of Kandahar province on Dec. 27, 2010. U.S. Army soldiers patrolled the abandoned village of Haji Ghaffar to clear the area from explosives as Afghan villagers moved back to their homes. The residents left their village about three years ago when it turned into a battlefield.  

A U.S. soldier walks in the dust inside an abandoned house in Haji Ghaffar village after blowing up an unexploded tank round during a clearance patrol in the Zari district of Kandahar province on Dec. 27, 2010. U.S. Army soldiers patrolled the abandoned village of Haji Ghaffar to clear the area from explosives as Afghan villagers moved back to their homes. The residents left their village about three years ago when it turned into a battlefield.  

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last memorial  service of his brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, in the Dand district of Kandahar province  on July 13, 2011. The weeping Afghan president led thousands of mourners through  the burial of his brother, who was assassinated by his own head of security in  the southern city of Kandahar. Though Ahmed Wali Karzai was dogged by  allegations of links to the drugs trade and corruption, his death was a  huge blow for NATO and the government.  
Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last memorial service of his brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, in the Dand district of Kandahar province on July 13, 2011. The weeping Afghan president led thousands of mourners through the burial of his brother, who was assassinated by his own head of security in the southern city of Kandahar. Though Ahmed Wali Karzai was dogged by allegations of links to the drugs trade and corruption, his death was a huge blow for NATO and the government.  

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last memorial service of his brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, in the Dand district of Kandahar province on July 13, 2011. The weeping Afghan president led thousands of mourners through the burial of his brother, who was assassinated by his own head of security in the southern city of Kandahar. Though Ahmed Wali Karzai was dogged by allegations of links to the drugs trade and corruption, his death was a huge blow for NATO and the government.  

A broom with blood stains at the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder at Forward  Operating Base Pasab on Aug. 28, 2011.
A broom with blood stains at the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder at Forward Operating Base Pasab on Aug. 28, 2011.

A broom with blood stains at the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder at Forward Operating Base Pasab on Aug. 28, 2011.

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