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10 Years of War in Afghanistan

It is 10 years on 7 October 2011 since the beginning of the War in Afghanistan. Precipitated by the terrorist attacks on NY and Washington on 11 November that year, the Taliban regime in power in Afghanistan at the time was quickly toppled by the forces of the Northern Alliance, a loose confederation of anti-Taliban fighters from across the country. A subsequent ground invasion by American, British and other allied forces was intended to hunt down and capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the man behind the 9/11 attacks.

Since October 2001, the war has morphed numerous times and developed into a complex web of local and national conflicts. In 2003 defeated Taliban forces launched a major insurgency against the Afghan government and its Western backers and protectors. Since then, a dual approach has seen the so called International Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF) taking on duties of protecting civil authorities and infrastructure while largely US army commandos have been sequestered to find and destroy pockets of insurgent resistance.

Panos photographers Tim Dirven and the late Martin Adler (who tragically was murdered in Somalia in 2006) were in Afghanistan in the early stages of the war from the end of 2001 and into 2002. Adam Dean, now based in Beijing, has been on a number of trips to the country over the past years, travelling embedded with the US Army and documenting the work of the army's Medevac teams working to evacuate and treat injured soldiers.

All three photographers have won numerous awards with their work on Afghanistan including Pictures of the Year International (POYi) awards and the prestigious World Press Photo Award.

This selection is only a very small part of their work. Many other Panos photographers have also worked in Afghanistan. Click HERE to view more images in the Panos archive.
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