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


Trump's US-Taliban move pushes Afghans toward fragile vote

President Donald Trump's sudden halt to U.S.-Taliban talks looks like a gift to the beleaguered Afghan president, who has insisted on holding a key election in less than three weeks' time despite widespread expectations that a peace deal would push it aside.

Reports from SIGAR

Afghanistan security forces’ strength at lowest level since 2015, US watchdog says

The U.S. Congress has appropriated nearly $82.67 billion to support security in Afghanistan, or nearly two-thirds of all U.S. reconstruction funding for the country since fiscal year 2002.

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.

Election coverage

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Afghan officials: Thousands of troops ready for polling day

Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan.

Afghan government says elections first, peace deal after

The Afghan government will only consider making a “legitimate” peace with insurgents after national elections are held this month, an official told reporters on Saturday, despite the atmosphere of political uncertainty following the sudden halt in U.S.-Taliban peace talks.

White House says son of Osama bin Laden killed in US operation

The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden, a son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

'Horse Soldier' shares war stories in Las Vegas

The two were part of the first group of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers sent to Afghanistan less than a month after 9/11, where they secretly entered the country on horseback to go to war against the Taliban.

US general for NATO: Afghan violence will rise before vote

The top U.S. general for NATO said Friday that he expects increased violence in Afghanistan in the lead-up to the election later this month, adding that allies will make necessary adjustments to military operations there to protect the vote.

IG report: US sent bomb-sniffing dogs to Jordan, then they died from poor care

The U.S. government continued to provide dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs to the Kingdom of Jordan, even as the animals were dying of serious health problems and others were so poorly treated that they had “lost the will to work,” a government evaluation found.

Combat controller will receive Air Force Cross for actions in Afghanistan ISIS fight

Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel P. Keller had already been fighting for 15 hours when a house rigged with improvised explosives just feet away from the combat controller blew up, forcing him to the ground, injured and dazed. But he kept fighting.

Coalition airstrikes soared even as US, Taliban talked peace

As U.S. and Taliban officials talked peace, the U.S. military was accelerating airstrikes in Afghanistan, with the biggest monthly tally of the year carried out in August as the negotiations were in their final stage, a new report shows.

Taliban want US deal, but some in bigger hurry than others

Taliban negotiators were at odds with their Council of Leaders about whether to travel to Camp David even before President Donald Trump canceled the meeting planned for last weekend According to Taliban officials familiar with the discussions, some opposed the Camp David trip and chastised the negotiators who were eager to attend.

Official: Taliban suicide car bomber kills four Afghan troops

An Afghan official says a Taliban suicide car bomber has targeted an Afghan special forces base on the outskirts of Kabul, killing at least four troops.

Al-Qaida chief in 9/11 speech calls for attacks on West

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called Wednesday on Muslims to attack U.S., European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Afghans fear Trump's Taliban move means more civilians die

As America on Wednesday mourns thousands of civilians killed in the 9/11 attacks, weary Afghans watch their own toll from the aftermath continue to rise.

Americans who fought in Afghanistan wait to see how their war ends

Some 775,477 U.S. veterans and servicemembers have deployed to Afghanistan since the U.S. war there began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks 18 years ago this week. The span of the conflict has prompted some veterans to question what has been accomplished.

Rocket blast at US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

A rocket exploded at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan just minutes into Wednesday, the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States, but officials at the compound later declared an all-clear and reported no injuries.

New generation of Taliban fuels battles in northern Afghanistan

After years of resisting Taliban control, Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Badakhshan has become yet another battleground in the fight for control of the country, thanks in large part to a long-term shift in the Taliban’s recruitment strategy, observers say.

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