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

New Afghan ID cards, aimed at unifying the country, are doing the opposite

The fight over the "e-taskera," as the biometric card is known, has dragged on since President Ashraf Ghani took office in 2015. Despite the evident virtues of a foolproof ID card in a country where many adults cannot write and use only one name, the e-taskera has triggered endless suspicion, conspiracy theories and shouting matches.


Reports from SIGAR

Latest US strategy in Afghanistan draws Senate panel’s rebuke, ire

In a series of sharp questions and comments, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took top state and defense officials to task over past missteps and future plans to resolve the war in Afghanistan. Among those concerns: the annual U.S. costs to run the war.

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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Afghan official says car bomber kills 2 in Kabul

An official with Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said a suicide car bomber targeting a British security company in the capital Kabul has killed two civilians and wounded three others.

US advisers: Training Afghan aircraft mechanics vital to country's military independence

If there’s an insufficient number of trained Afghan maintainers, damaged aircraft have to be destroyed on the battlefield, officials said. U.S. advisers acknowledge that Afghan self-sufficiency is still years away.

Wounded soldier welcomes paratroopers home from Afghanistan

Months after his armored vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan and weeks into the rehabilitation that he hopes will one day allow him to walk again, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Victor E. Prato looked up from his wheelchair and cheered as more than 250 paratroopers returned to Fort Bragg.

Naming Afghan boy Donald Trump proves divisive

When Asadullah Poya's wife gave birth to their third child in 2016, Poya saw the boy had an unusual shock of blond hair. He named him Donald Trump, hoping it would bring him good fortune.

Mattis meets with servicemembers in Bahrain, affirms Navy base’s role in Middle East

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with a crowd of servicemembers at Naval Support Activity Bahrain Thursday during his tour of Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Former TOPGUN instructor tapped to lead Navy’s 5th Fleet

Rear Adm. Scott Stearney had been nominated to take charge of the epicenter of naval operations in the Middle East. He is also slated to lead Naval Forces Central Command and receive a promotion to vice admiral.

US focusing anti-Taliban effort inside Kabul

The Afghan capital is now the main focus of the anti-Taliban fight, with U.S. special forces conducting raids in the sprawling city and additional American military advisers arriving to help beleaguered local police, Gen. John Nicholson said Wednesday.

Official: Insurgent attack kills 10 Afghan security forces

An Afghan official says insurgents attacked a checkpoint in western Farah province and killed at least 10 security personnel.


Mattis arrives in Afghanistan, says some in Taliban may be willing to pursue peace

The unannounced visit by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis comes two weeks after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made what many observers consider an unprecedented offer, inviting the Taliban to begin peace talks without preconditions to end the 16-year war.

US citizen who joined al-Qaida gets 45 years in prison

A U.S. citizen convicted of joining al-Qaida and participating in a failed 2009 suicide bombing at an American military base in Afghanistan has been ordered to serve 45 years in prison.

US military uses strategy from ISIS fight to attack Taliban

The U.S. military is ratcheting up its attack on Taliban funding streams in Afghanistan, where troops are using a strategy that paid dividends in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the general in charge of U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

Official: Insurgents attacked police checkpoint, killing 5

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials blamed Taliban insurgents, who have stepped up attacks in the province in recent months against Afghan security forces.

A bold Afghan peace offer, but are the Taliban interested?

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has put a peace offer on the table, and analysts say the ball is now in the Taliban's court. But so far the militants are showing no sign of being interested.

‘Better than any care package’: unique program delivers blood to military hospitals

A one-of-its-kind military program lets servicemembers far from the battlefields help their wounded comrades by forward-deploying their own blood.

Afghan officials: Insurgents take over district in west

The Taliban captured a district in western Farah province on Monday, local officials said.

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