Stunning photos tell a story of camaraderie and uncertainty.
It’s hard to fathom that the United States military has been engaged in conflict in Afghanistan for 14 years. And while the end looked to be in sight at the beginning of the Obama administration, recent Taliban gains in the region will likely reverse the decision to withdraw the majority of US troops by the end of 2016.
Where does this uncertainty leave the US military and the Afghan people they sought to liberate and empower? Will anyone’s lives return to normal? What is normal?
It was with this stage set that veteran combat photographer Robert L. Cunningham returned to Afghanistan to capture the mood and unease that pervades the country.
All of these photos tell a story. We are especially moved by the photos at the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2.
Below are 11 remarkable images of the winding down of Operation Enduring Freedom
On October 7, 2001, the US and NATO entered into what would become the longest war in American history.
Operation Enduring Freedom had the dual objective of hitting back at al-Qaida and their Taliban hosts after the 9/11 attacks and rebuilding Afghanistan into a functioning state.
The Taliban is in the middle of a resurgence, with the Afghan military taking unsustainable losses as they assume more of the country’s security burden.