In late 2009, President Barack Obama announced a surge of troops in Afghanistan. In the first full year of that operation, 2010, of the nearly 500 U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan, more than half were from Helmand province. It was the deadliest year of the war for American troops and also the deadliest in year in the province.
A Taliban stronghold, Helmand provided a key source of income for the restive insurgency — opium was the dominant cash crop. In February 2010, coalition forces launched an all-out assault on the city of Marjah, an opium hub in the Taliban’s southern heartland. Its roads and alleys were heavily mined, as were the surrounding fields, and it was defended by die-hard Taliban fighters who flooded the area ahead of the U.S. Marine-led coalition advance.
What follows are four pictures of the first major operation of the Afghanistan troop surge, taken by Associated Press photographers David Guttenfelder and Brennan Linsley. The images underscore the danger facing American troops and their allies, as well as the courage and resolve required to overcome such odds.
A Marine with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment leaps over a wall during a firefight as Taliban fighters open fire during a Feb. 15, 2010, gunbattle in the town of Marjah.
Associated Press photo by David Guttenfelder
A wounded Marine is rushed to a waiting Black Hawk helicopter for casualty evacuation in Marjah, on Feb. 14, 2010. The soldiers of Task Force Pegasus supported U.S. and coalition forces fighting to break the Taliban’s hold on the city.
Associated Press photo by Brennan Linsley
Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment open fire on Taliban positions in Marjah during a Feb. 15, 2010 firefight.
Associated Press photo by David Guttenfelder
Marines and Navy corpsmen huddle around a pair of wounded Marines, shielding them from the dust kicked up by a helicopter during a casualty evacuation on Feb. 15, 2010 in Marjah.
It was yet another ethical lapse for the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, many of whom had just taken a group photograph with the deceased victim after their commander had held an impromptu reenlistment ceremony for Gallagher near the body. Although some expressed remorse in courtroom testimony over their participation in the photo, video footage from later that morning showed a number of SEALs acted with little regard for the remains of Gallagher's alleged victim.
The video — which was shown to the jury and courtroom spectators last week in the trial of Gallagher — was recently obtained by Task & Purpose.
A U.S. Air Force veteran held captive for six weeks by the Libyan military amid allegations that he was a hired mercenary was freed by the U.S. government on Tuesday, the Washington Post first
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
Developed by Offworld Studios alongside living, breathing military veterans, 'Squad' may be the most realistic shooter on the market — or at least, with 40 vs 40 squad-level fighting, the most fun.
The game, according to its website, was designed to "establish a culture of camaraderie that is unparalleled in competitive multiplayer shooters." More importantly, it comes complete with realistic renderings of Stryker armored vehicles, which is my personal jam.
DUBAI (Reuters) - President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if the Islamic Republic attacked "anything American," as Iran said the latest U.S. sanctions had closed off any chance of diplomacy.
"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force," Trump tweeted just days the United States came within minutes of bombing Iranian targets.
"In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration," the U.S. president tweeted.