afghanistan

U.S. Soldiers Provide Security Around Kandahar Airfield...KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 03:  SPC Alfredo Vigil II from Woodlake, California with the U.S. Army's 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrols through a Kuchi village on March 3, 2014 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Kuchis are Afghan Pashtun nomads. President Obama recently ordered the Pentagon to begin contingency planning for a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai or his successor refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Scott Olson/Getty

SPC Alfredo Vigil II from Woodlake, California with the U.S. Army’s 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrols through a Kuchi village near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Kuchis are Afghan Pashtun nomads. President Obama recently ordered the Pentagon to begin contingency planning for a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai or his successor refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement. Read more

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, grabs his rucksack following a homecoming ceremony in the Natcher Physical Fitness Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky. About 100 soldiers returned to Fort Knox after a nine-month combat deployment conducting village stability operations and working alongside Afghan military and police forces.

Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

A soldier from the US army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, grabs his rucksack following a homecoming ceremony in the Natcher Physical Fitness Center in Fort Knox, Kentucky. About 100 soldiers returned to Fort Knox from Afghanistan after a nine-month combat deployment

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier looks out from the windshield of an armoured car at the Forward Base in Nari district, near their army outpost in Kunar province, February 24, 2014. The Afghan Taliban killed 21 soldiers in the assault on Sunday in the remote mountainous region, the Afghan government said, and six soldiers were missing after the militants' most deadly assault on the security forces in months. The government sent reinforcements to the area where the pre-dawn attack took place, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said in a statement. At bottom is a picture of Afghanistan s President Hamid Karzai.

Omar Sobhani/Reuters

An Afghan National Army soldier looks out from an armoured car at the Forward Base in Nari district, near their army outpost in Kunar province on Monday. The Afghan Taliban killed 21 soldiers in the assault on Sunday in the remote mountainous region, the Afghan government said, and six soldiers were missing after the militants’ most deadly assault on the security forces in months.

An Afghan internally displaced mother holds her children as she sits on the ground at her home in a poor neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.

Massoud Hossaini/AP

An internally displaced mother holds her children as she sits on the ground at her home in a poor neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan Read more

TOPSHOTS An Afghan balloon vendor walks ...TOPSHOTS An Afghan balloon vendor walks along a street in Kabul on February 18, 2014. Some nine million Afghans or 36 percent of the population are living in "absolute poverty" while another 37 percent live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report. AFP PHOTO/Nicolas ASFOURINICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

An Afghan balloon seller walks along a street in Kabul. About 9m Afghans, or 36% of the population, are living in ‘absolute poverty’ while another 37% t live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report. Read more

An Afghan man pushes his cart at Shuhada...An Afghan man pushes his cart at Shuhada Lake in Kabul on February 10, 2014.   Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict but despite the significant improvement in the last decade it is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid.   AFP PHOTO/ Wakil KohsarWAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images

Wakil Kohsar/AFP

An Afghan man pushes his cart along the shore of Shuhada lake in Kabul, Afghanistan

An Afghan child warms herself near a traditional "sandali" stove at her family's home in Herat on February 7, 2014. As winter sets in across Central Asia, many Afghans struggle to provide adequate food and shelter for their families.

Aref Karimi/AFP

An Afghan child warms herself near a traditional sandali stove at her family’s home in Herat, Afghanistan, on Friday. As winter sets in across Central Asia, finding adequate food and shelter is a struggle for many Afghans.

An Afghan resident walks during snowfall in Kabul on February 6, 2014. The Afghan capital has experienced its second heavy snowfall of the winter.

Shah Marai/AFP

An Afghan resident walks during snowfall in Kabul on Thursday. The Afghan capital has experienced its second heavy snowfall of the winter.

Afghan children play Ghursai, a traditional boy's game

Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Children play Ghursai, a traditional boy’s game, in the countryside on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province in Afghanistan Read more

ALTERNATE CROP - In this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 photo, Afghan refugee girl, laiba Hazrat, 6, poses for a picture, while playing with other children in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the worldís largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting their country has undergone. Since the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, some 3.8 million Afghans have returned to their home country, according to the U.N.ís refugee agency.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

Afghan refugee, laiba Hazrat, 6, in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities of hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the wars and fighting in their country. Read more