The U.S. in Afghanistan: The Longest War

After more than seven years, the U.S. and its allies are still fighting in Afghanistan — in a battle fueled by joblessness and poverty. Why failure isn't an option

Adam Ferguson for TIME

U.S. Sergeant Carl Baker of Bravo Company, 1-26 of the 1st Infantry Division, needs a sharp eye to protect his fellow soldiers as they meet with tribal leaders in the Afghan village of Loi Kolay

The soldiers crept into the village of Loi Kolay under the light of a crescent moon, slipping into defensive positions around a darkened house, gun sights trained on the rocky cliffs above. Four sharp knocks on the wooden door echoed through the silent valley. "Niazamuddin, we know you are in there!" the interpreter shouted. After a few tense moments, the tribal elder appeared. For months the village leaders of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan's northeastern province of Kunar had complained about the U.S. and Afghan armies' searching of houses, a practice that went against tribal custom. Niazamuddin had suggested...

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