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Afghanistan National Army

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US and NATO forces continue to train the Afghan troops in advance of the handover of the country's security in 2014. The US-led war in Afghanistan has cost the lives of around 3,000 US and allied troops, seen thousands of Afghans killed and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. We check in on our soldiers for May (and a little bit of June 2012.) -- Paula Nelson (45 photos total)
A female US marine and members of USN Hospital Corpsman from the 1st battalion 7th Marines Regiment walk at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Jackson also known as Sabit Khadam in Sangin, Helmand Province, June 7, 2012. The US-led war in Afghanistan has cost the lives of around 3,000 U.S. and allied troops, seen thousands of Afghans killed and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. (Adek Berryakek Berry/AFP/GettyImages)

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In the year 2011, a total of 565 NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were killed -- down from 711 in 2010 -- marking the largest decline in annual deaths during the decade-long conflict. The large number of NATO soldiers on the ground appears to have made a difference, a fact that worries Afghans as the U.S. and others accelerate their planned pullback. This year, 23,000 U.S. soldiers are scheduled to depart the country, heading toward a full withdrawal by 2014. For now, U.S. troops appear to be focusing on intensive training of Afghan forces and preparing for the logistical challenge of shipping home some $30 billion worth of military gear. Gathered here are images of the people and places involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. [42 photos]

Cpl. James Hernandez, a combat engineer with Alpha Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, and a native of Goodyear, Arizona, uses an electric saw to dismantle a HESCO barrier at Firebase Saenz, in Helmand province, on December 13, 2011. FB Saenz is the first of several patrol bases being demilitarized by the Marines of 9th ESB throughout the month of December. (USMC/Cpl. Bryan Nygaard)

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HIGH WATER
HIGH WATER: Floodwater filled farmland near Yazoo City, Miss., Thursday. A man died in Vicksburg after being pulled from the floodwater overflowing from the Mississippi River, becoming what is believed to be the first flood casualty since the river started spilling into Mississippi and Louisiana. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

POLICY OUTLINE
POLICY OUTLINE: From left, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donlion, Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listened to President Barack Obama deliver a speech on Middle East policy at the State Department Thursday in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

GLOBAL AUDIENCE
GLOBAL AUDIENCE: The Berkat family watch a live TV broadcast of Mr. Obama’s speech at their home in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday. President Barack Obama called for Israelis and Palestinians to seek a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. (Nathalie Bardou/Associated Pres)

TRIPLE BOMBING
TRIPLE BOMBING: Iraqi security forces inspected the scene of a triple bombing outside a police station in Kirkuk, some 180 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, which killed 27 people and wounded scores. (Emad Matti/Associated Press)

RIGHT ANGLES
RIGHT ANGLES: Laborers worked at the construction site for a commercial complex in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar Thursday. (Reuters)

OLD GLORY
OLD GLORY: Children peeped through a torn U.S flag hanging from their makeshift shelter in a slum on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday. (Athar Hussain/Reuters)

GETTING TRAINING
GETTING TRAINING: Afghanistan National Army soldiers underwent training from a U.S. contractor at Camp Leatherneck on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)

BABY GOT BAAA
BABY GOT BAAA: Sheep lined up to be judged in the ring at the Devon County Show Thursday in Exeter, England. One of the region’s biggest county shows, it is often seen as a curtain raiser for the whole showing season and a barometer for the health of the whole agricultural industry in general. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

NOT LIKE THE OTHERS
NOT LIKE THE OTHERS: A police officer showed a M-26 hand grenade found in a box of tomatoes, during a presentation to the press at the police station in Medellin, Colombia, Thursday. The Colombian Police seized thirty M-26 hand grenades hidden in three boxes of tomatoes that allegedly belonged to criminal gangs. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

TUSSLE
TUSSLE: Nepalese police clashed with Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal supporters during a protest outside Nepal’s Constituent Assembly building in Kathmandu Thursday. The demonstrators demanded the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly a week ahead of the end of its term. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images)

INAUGURATION TIME
INAUGURATION TIME: People bought T-shirts bearing the portrait of President Alassane Ouattara in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Thursday. Mr. Ouattara will be inaugurated on Saturday before a number of international leaders. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images)

TAKING A DIP
TAKING A DIP: A boy cooled off on a hot summer day in the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir Thursday. Many parts of northern India are facing severe hot weather conditions with temperatures hitting 111 degrees Fahrenheit in many places, the media reported. (Fayaz Kabli/Reuters)

PASSING THROUGH
PASSING THROUGH: A farmer led her cows on a rice paddy field in Boi Khe village outside Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday. (Kham/Reuters)

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This past month, much of the attention focused on Afghanistan centered on the release of thousands of classified documents from the war effort by WikiLeaks. While the consensus appears to be that nothing significantly new was revealed by the release, the picture painted by the documents remains rather bleak. NATO and the United States now have 143,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150,000 in coming weeks as they take a counter-insurgency offensive into the insurgents' southern strongholds. Taliban control remains difficult to dislodge, and once removed from an area, Taliban forces often return once larger forces leave a region, especially in rural areas where local government presence remains small. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (47 photos total)
A U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Hornet aircraft prepares to refuel over Afghanistan July 8, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin/Released)

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Afghanistan - United States - Taliban - War in Afghanistan - NATO

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