Afghanistan: 2010 photo highlights
January 3rd, 2011
04:48 PM ET

Afghanistan: Some 2010 photo highlights

From U.S. soldiers in gun turrets to a boy selling balloons on the streets of Kabul: Check out some of the scenes captured by CNN over the year in telling the Afghanistan story.

See more photos of Afghanistan in the Photo Spotlight

• Navigating Kabul's crazy traffic
• Views from outside the wire
• Views from inside the machine
• Inside the game of buzkashi

Filed under: Photo Spotlight
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Rod

    And for many decades, in places like Afghanistan, there are so many local issues and conflicts that have suspended because of greater issues.

    Without any foreign intervention maybe peoples would have resolved so much of their conflicts by themselves to have moved forward like other nations.

    January 7, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Good posting,Rod. Thank you.

      January 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rod

    If Russians or Chinese were on American soil, they are there for all the best intentions, would Americans buy them? The answer is NO. Would Americans cower before their might? The answer is NO. And that mirrors Afghanistan and many places else.

    January 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rod

    Take frame number 13. There is no mention of 'terrorists' in there but they are there...sympathizers...supporters...yes, themselves by hiding away their arms and mingling with civilians. That is what guerrilla war is about.

    For U.S. to think they are winning in there is wishful thinking at this point. Nationalism has always been a popular issue in politics. Anti Imperialism is another of that. And just the mere presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan feeds or fuels them, setting aside differences and uniting natives politically.

    U.S. is in for a protracted war.

    January 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. suzie81

    Today is January 7 in Seattle and I have been up all night exploring ways to raise a million dollars by researching all of the war, all of the natural disasters and everyone in charge of it all. Man o man, its seems like a really rough road out there to me and I don't think it is in the least bit worthy of being taken lightly. None of it. Pakistan has 20 million people displaced. Can you believe that? I do, and man that really is bad. As for the soldiers on all sides of this war and that war too. I love them. I have 3 brothers and was boy crazy for boys. I am 44 this month and I am still boy crazy. It is killing me that all those boys are out there like that. I swear to god when i imagine Viet-Nam I about puke and turn inside out with horror. Afghanistan...Pakistan...Sudan. I am just learning how to decipher the evidence and connect dots here. I know there are females out there to and all I can say is they shouldn't be. For every reason under the sun. With all due respect.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. George Patton

    You must have slept through the cold war or not been born yet. The Soviets were using yellow rain [chemical weapons] against the Afghan population and carpet bombing outside of the Afghan cities. Liberal garbage. Osama Bin Laden didn't decide to start attacking America until after Desert Storm. The mujahideen were freedom fighters – remember Ahmad Shah Masood – he was fighting against the Taliban and Bin Laden.

    The Taliban are Saudi Arabia's and Pakistans fault. They funded the islamist madrassas in Pakistan to train zealots as proxies against India and the secular government in Afghanistan and to counter the influence of Iran, Russia, India, UK, US etc.... The Afghan people had a history of tolerance before the Taliban brought thier brand of racism to Afghanistan under the facade of fundamentalism.

    Some of the Pashtuns accepted the Taliban as a stabilizing influence during the lawlessness and civil war that happened after the Soviet withdrawal. Then the Taliban started their genocide of the Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks. The Taliban even had Hindus wear yellow patches like the Nazis did to the Jews. I wonder who gave them that idea, Pakistan?

    January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jones

    That burqa woman was more covered than a klansman!

    January 4, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Raymond

    There are so many more photos which could have been used to show the redevelopment. Flickr has a good selection. Afghanistan will flourish in the coming decades for its population is not that big and it has good natural resources and a good supply of fresh water from the mountains.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jones

      It most certainly will not "flourish", ever. Afghanistan is a s- hole for eternity.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    I wouldn't trade one marine, sailor, airman, or dogface for a million Afghans. Bringing security to a Muslim nation is impossible- time to bring our boys home and close the flood gate.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Pshh

      That's a naive and self-centric answer to the problem. Homeland security is hard enough when Americans like yourself won't accept simple airport security or increased security of any kind that, let's face it, isn't 100% terrorist proof. And furthermore, the mindset of the people you say you wouldn't trade are that they would trade their lives for just one Afghan. You can't just "close the flood gate" and let corruption, death, and injustice flood the world. I completely agree that what we're doing is providing security and humanitarian support. Sure, we may not be doing it in their best interest, although I'm sure that is the mindset of most people involved and surely will be the overall net gain of democracy and humanitarian projects, even if the majority of the fat cats or big wigs are planning some kind of dastardly scheme to rob them of their monayz or laborz. The world has problems, we're still living in a primitive state where people don't realize that even the U.S. and Europe have gangs, tribes, social hierarchy, crime, poor economical systems, homeless, broken down infer-structures, tyranny, and much more. We haven't given up on anything, but we're addressing problems like natural disasters, domestic and international terrorism, and wars that threaten the most lives and cause the most chaos, first and foremost with the full power of the U.S. military, private sector, and civilian aid. Just my opinion that what we're doing is good for everyone, and we've jumped into worse where we've lost more fighting for something stupid.

      January 4, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hugh G. Rection

    The junk shot of the turret gunner is priceless. "Hey, let me take a knee and get a nice shot of your setup with a harness yanking on it".

    January 4, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. icommand

    US is actively prospecing Afghanisan land and has found major US companies will come to afghanistan and start mining....US will only look at afghanistan as a useful country till they have exploited the place completely...its western policy throughout the world...and asians fall prey to it always..

    January 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • UR-Talib-ghost-writer

      You are an Al Qaeda ghost writer. The coalition is in Afghanistan because Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, hid Osama Bin Laden after he murdered 3000 innocent people on 9/11. American corporations do not want Afghanistan's natural resources. There is a reason that Afghan Police and Army outposts are being put up around the country. It is to bring security, so that you will either surrender, join the political process or assist you to become a martyr.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      There are no natural resources in afghanistan, except fodder for bunker busters.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Security-first

        Adam. What is your angle? Are you a flower power hippy, racist jarhead or racist flower power hippy jarhead? I got it, you are another islamist propaganda minister.

        B.T.W. Jarhead=squidward swab jockey in nice dress uniform

        January 4, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        Wrong,Adam. In fact,Afghanistan has over $1T worth of underground assets like lithium,gold,silver and what have you and that's the reason the right-wing thugs in Washington are keeping us there to exploit them. It would've been far better had the Russians prevailed 30 years ago!!!

        January 5, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. WeAreNotSincereWithAFGHANISTAN

    My recent experience in Afghanistan:
    We have not done anything for the Afghan people, our mission to improve the lives of Afghans under the slogan womens rights, rebuild Afghanistan and democracy were not sincere...The Afghans have figured out the reality that we are not there for them but for our strategic objective in the region beyond securing the American homeland. True Patriotism and democracy is to question our government. Being just is to value the life of others, including Afghans not more than the life of a European or American. Tolerance is understanding the history, culture and way of life of Afghans in order for two way respect. Most American have not gone out of a state forget being out of US, I request those who are filled with Hitler like hate to see the world so you can realize we are not the only ones on earth nor are we superior to any other human being....

    My request is for the American gov't to be sincere with Afghanistan to win their hearts and dump any colonialist mindset...rebuild Afghanistan using the Marshal plan or leave the place because we are not able to fool Afghans into submission. I am sure if we were sincere in helping Afghanistan, we would win the hearts of Afghans- they are kind, hospitable and trustworthy if we are honest with them...they would lay their life and protect American homeland against any evil plan within their reach. We have give Afghanistan Gov't 10 billion and spent 20 billion ourselves on projects that we never complete SINCE 2001, yet we spend 120 billion PER YEAR on the war which never gets to Afghans buy feed the MIlitary complex and American economy (Note we have given more to PAkistan and to former Soviet states which host our military. I remind all that NO afghan has ever attacked America nor have they ever declared such plans...Even after the Russians killed millions of Afghans, Afghans never attacked Moscow...Lets wake up and not use Afghan lands as a playground and its people as target practice. Put yourself in their shoes and image how you would react...We have attacked another wrong country, AFGHANISTAN...the terrorists were once our proxies which we threw into the lap of Afghans...

    January 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Security-first

      The problem right now is that all the infrastructure and reconstruction projects get attacked by the Taliban. Afghan contractors are building Afghan National Police and Army outposts in every corner of the country as I write. The Afghan government pays better than the Taliban and the police and army are no longer deserting after they are trained.

      The increased security will allow more humanitarian and other reconstruction projects to occur without the Taliban killing the workers or kidnapping them.

      The Afghan people have had it bad before Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden pulled the US into Afghanistan. They were in the middle of a civil war after the mujahideen kicked out the Russians. The Taliban were committing genocide on the Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazaras. Many Pashtuns were against the Talibans tyrannical rule. The coalition not only has ended this oppression but has stopped the Taliban from allowing Afghanistan to be the training ground for international terrorism.

      Liberal CNN is ready to surrender to the genocidal racist Taliban right when the coalition is winning.

      The US government is sincere about provide assistance to the Afghan people. You are full of cr@p.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
      • JErryJ

        Mr. Full of nonsense, Provide us with facts, How much has the US given to the Afghan gov't? How many projects and how much has the US spent on projects and name a few? (Note the falling apart Chinese made 2 lane highway for our supply trucks which are not conforming to even the lowest civil engineering standards is not a good example). Why are we giving Pakistan money when we know they are destroying schools and sending terrorists to throw acid on the face of Afghan women?( i remind you we enbaled, funded and encourage the monsters to protect Pakistan as well as destroy Russia begining in the 1970s. Go back and read history and if you do not have time, read...

        Road to peace in Afghanistan doesn't run through Islamabad or Langley

        The Huffington Post
        By Michael Hughes

        January 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Security-first

        I'm here helping distribute it j@ck@ss. Billions. There are infrastructure projects everywhere to improve the standard of living along with Afghan national police and army projects everywhere. If you don't believe it why don't you join the Taliban and see for yourself.

        January 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • JErryJagain

        Your fustrated, because you do not know yourself and only imagine being there to collect an enormous salary....tell us what kind of weapons have you supplied the afghan army, 1930 chinese made weapons and 10 bullets each? How much we actually spent on Afghnaistan it self and give us details of a few projects? your a narrow minded, self interest, ingnorant necdneck buffoon...go read a book and learn about the world..If you have no arguement you should not comment with your emotion and only cursing

        January 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blackhorse20

      I've been in Afghanistan for almost 5 years as a service member and a contractor, so I can say that it is a country that is slowly devleoping & progressing. Some of the negative comments made are people that pay more attention to what's violent in the media than what's actually being done on the ground over here. The roads are being paved, more schools being built, pipe projects in smaller villages being established, so positive things are being done and ongoing, but you don't here about that in the media because positive input doesn't boost TV ratings.

      At the same time I've experienced the attacks whether it be mortar or IED, but that is a factor that Americans, Afghans, and coalition forces can't allow outside factors to deter them from the ultimate goal of building a better nation, because that is what the majority of the Afghan people want. Unfortunately this process has taken a long time, but factor in the Iraq conflict, the early corruption, and the limited resources that went into getting this country on it's feet in the early part of the 2000's, this is something that cannot be accomplished overnight. So patience is key in this rebuilding process.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scruffer

    This is SUCH a mis-representation of Afghanistan. And, no, I have not been there.
    I've seen the statistics though – how many people are killed, the enormous amount of corruption.
    There is no 'progress' there – thousands killed, no security. Not under the Russians, not under US occupation.
    The Taliban was the most secure the Afghans knew in ages. Yes, extremely oppressive towards women – so offer women a way out. Let it be a nation of men.
    Just pull out – divert the BILLIONS towards our own US. Offer Afghan women sanctuary if they want. Give the women a choice – let the rest go.
    We NEED those BILLIONS wasted in corruption and lives in Afghanistan, right here at home.
    People are dying at home. We need our government to stand up for US!!!

    January 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Electrician in Afghanistan

      The photos are a perfect representation of Afghanistan, though I've taken better shots myself driving around the country. Perhaps i should give up being an electrician and become a CNN photographer. Kabul is hectic and dirty, Herat is beautiful and full of pine trees, the countryside ranges from desolate landscapes to rich farmland that looks much like Eastern Washington.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Blackhorse20

      The key statement that you made is that you have not been there, so how could possiblly know what is a misrepresentation of Afghanistan. Well let me tell you since you have not been there, and I have for close to 5 years. The photos are a good representation of Afghanistan. If you ask the majority of the Afghan people, they will tell you that they want a better country, with more schools, hospitals, paved roads, and less corruption. It is the narrow-minded thinking in which you have displayed, allows for weakness. As an American we are not weak and we do not turn our backs and give up on a country when we already involved in a mission to aid.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. jms

    total s**t hole

    January 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gary Johndro


    January 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |