Making Themselves Feel Right at Home

A new campaign against al-Qaeda has allied forces digging in for a long stay

The daily press briefing at Bagram air base, the allied command post north of Kabul, always begins with a reminder of why so many soldiers have gathered on this dusty plain. Coalition spokesman Major Bryan Hilferty numbers the days since Sept. 11, 2001, reminds reporters of the death toll and describes a victim. Last Friday, it was Michael Hannan, 34, of Lynbrook, N.Y., who, Hilferty said, "knew how to put people at ease and how to make them laugh. His daughters Rachel, 5, Alexandra, 22 months, and wife Andrea are left only with memories." Fifteen minutes later, Hilferty wrapped up the...

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