2008 – 2009

After eight years of war, the fighting in Afghanistan has reached it’s highest levels since the invasion in 2001. Swaths of the eastern and southern provinces are under strong influence of the insurgency. Coalition forces are spread thin and can not advance beyond the territory they hold.

With the situation deteriorating, US General McChrystal called for a revised counterinsurgency policy. He likened the American military in Afghanistan to a bull charging at a matador [the Taliban] – slightly weakened each time it is “cut”. The focus has now shifted to securing the population and winning the support of the Afghan people. 20,000 additional US troops were deployed in 2009 in an attempt to break the military stalemate that had been reached and to secure areas that had none or little coalition presence before.

The General has asked for an additional 40,000 troops, warning that if the Taliban is not driven back by coalition forces within a year then the war will be unwinnable.

Danfung won the PDN’s 30 2010 (New and Emerging Photographers to Watch).