The Manhunt: Into The Caves

How the Taliban's collapse begins a new and dicey stage of the Afghan war

The white mountains of Afghanistan are beautiful this time of year. Snow blankets the peaks from Kabul to the Khyber Pass, smothering the ancient smugglers' footpaths that lead out of the country and into Pakistan. With the arrival of winter, human traffic in the mountains comes to a halt and the terrain is enveloped in an otherworldly calm.

Last week the hush was shattered by the blasts of hundreds of American bombs, the rattle of Kalashnikovs and the roar of tanks and pickup trucks carrying about 1,000 anti-Taliban soldiers into the Tora Bora cave complex to deliver a final reckoning...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!