Mission Unfinished

For American troops on their second or third tours in Iraq, some familiar places now look much different. But in Mosul, the old battles have to be fought all over again. A report from the next front line

Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME

U.S. soldiers at Combat Outpost Rabiya in western Mosul take a break while waiting for the "decisive battle" promised by Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki

There are two important rules at Combat Outpost Rabiya, a tiny compound recently erected by U.S. troops on the west side of Mosul. First, do not urinate in any of the three wooden outhouses built over a ditch in the back. The waste has to be burned since there is no running water, and that is difficult to do when it's wet. Visitors are politely told to direct fluids into a hose leading downhill to a creek. Second, when going to the toilet--or anywhere away from the shelters of the camp's twin tents--always wear a helmet and body armor. Mortars drop...

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