Operation Enduring Freedom: A look back in photos

With the curtain coming down on combat operations, Stars and Stripes is looking back at the U.S. troops who have fought in the war, what they encountered, and how they coped. We present three photo galleries featuring the work of our photographers and reporters who have covered the war in Afghanistan.


US forces pack up

Reports from SIGAR

Are we winning the Afghan War? That’s classified, Sopko says

John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, told Congress on Tuesday that measuring progress on America’s longest war is virtually impossible with even the most basic facts trapped behind an ever-expanding umbrella of secrecy.

Congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to provide independent and objective oversight of Afghanistan reconstruction projects and activities.

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Islamic militants see global chaos from virus as an opportunity

Both the Islamic State group and al-Qaida see the coronavirus as a threat, but some of their fighters also see the upheaval from the pandemic as an opportunity to win over more supporters and strike harder than before.

Fort Hood-based soldier’s death is seventh for coalition in Iraq this year

Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty was due to retire in June and looking forward to returning to civilian life, according to friends.

Taliban team arrives in Kabul to monitor prisoner release

A three-member Taliban technical team arrived Tuesday in the Afghan capital to monitor the release of their prisoners as part of a peace deal signed by the Taliban and the U.S., a spokesman for the insurgent group said.

Ex-prisoners exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl were key players in peace deal with Taliban, officials say

The so-called Taliban Five, a group of high-level militant inmates traded for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl during the Obama administration, worked behind the scenes to build support for the agreement, current and former U.S. and Taliban officials say.

Company charged millions for pro-America ads that never aired in Afghanistan, lawsuit alleges

A contractor billed the Pentagon millions of dollars for ads that never aired in Afghanistan,the company's former president says in a whistleblower lawsuit.

Afghan officials say Taliban attacks kill 11 troops, police

The insurgents targeted a military checkpoint in a multi-pronged attack in the district of Argandab in southern Zabul province on Sunday night.

Gold Star families hold out hope for peace in Afghanistan

Three Gold Star families talk about the prospect of the U.S.’s longest war coming to an end.

‘In limbo’ in Kuwait: Rapidly deployed paratroopers don’t know when they’re coming home

Some 2,500 Army paratroopers who were rushed to the Middle East just days after Christmas remain separated from their friends and families indefinitely as the rapidly spreading coronavirus prevents them from returning home.

Political turmoil in Kabul dogs negotiations with Taliban

After months of deliberation, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday announced his 21-member team to negotiate peace with the Taliban, only to have his political opponent reject it as not inclusive enough.

Afghan government and Taliban say prisoner release to start within days

Thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan could start being released by early next week, fulfilling a key condition of the nearly month-old U.S.-Taliban deal to bring peace to the country, government and Taliban officials said.

Aid group says Mideast lockdowns hinder humanitarian efforts

An international aid group said Wednesday that closures aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic are preventing it from reaching 300,000 people in conflict zones across the Middle East, as the virus arrived in war-torn Libya and four more cases were detected in Syria.

US condemns ‘fanatics and criminals’ as dozens killed in Sikh temple attack in Kabul

At least 25 people were killed when a lone gunman attacked a Sikh temple in Kabul’s old town Wednesday, starting an hourslong firefight with Afghan security forces, local officials said.

Four coronavirus cases confirmed at coalition bases in Afghanistan

Four service members in Afghanistan have tested positive for the coronavirus while being held in a screening facility after arriving in the country, military officials said Tuesday.

US, UAE troops hold major exercise amid virus and Iran tensions

The biennial exercise, called Native Fury, shows the close ties between American forces and the UAE.

US slashes aid to Afghanistan after Pompeo visit to Kabul

The Trump administration is slashing $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan and threatening further reductions in all forms of cooperation after the country's rival leaders failed to agree on forming a new government.

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