Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics
The walk to besieged U.S. Combat Outpost Nolen is only 700 metres in a straight line, but for the soldiers who walk it every day it is an extraordinary feat of fitness and defeating their own fear in one of Afghanistan’s riskiest front lines.
The only road, a dusty farm track known as “Route Phillies”, is blanketed in roadside bombs designed to kill or maim soldiers, and occasional larger bombs make them dangerous too for even heavily armoured trucks.
To skirt that, troops opt instead for a zig-zagging obstacle course across grape fields separated by four metre-high mud walls, walked in full combat gear and in savage 45C heat.
By Michael Georgy
An American Lieutenant was doing his best to reassure villagers in the Afghan heartland Taliban Province that U.S. soldiers would protect them from the Taliban, after a roadside bomb killed a father and son who were driving home on a motorcycle. On patrol he asked several people whether they felt safe, and said they should not hesitate to contact the Americans, located a few hundred metres away in their camp.