Dear Afghanistan Crossroads readers,
Take a look at some blog highlights below, and thanks again for being a part of the blog over the past two years.
– Whatever happened to bin Laden? (Now we know!)
– Operation Moshtarak: The battle for Marjah coverage | Behind the scenes
– U.S. bases in Afghanistan say goodbye to Whoppers, DQ
– Nic Robertson: Shelter tries to help abused child brides
– Jill Dougherty: Lapis lazuli: Afghanistan's blue treasure
– Nick Paton Walsh/Tommy Evans: Inside a firefight | Additional photos
– Michael Holmes: Reminders of a hell for 1,000 men
– 'Shaming' her in-laws costs 19 year old her nose, ears
– Ed Lavandera: A real-life band of brothers
– Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers
CNN's Backstory talks with the filmmakers of "Unnoticed: Children of Kabul" – a film about child labor in Afghanistan.
Each workday, Sgt. Pari Gul a mom-of three, stands guard at Kabul's East Gate Checkpoint. In a war torn country as religiously conservative as Afghanistan, her very presence is both a warning to militants and a provocation to hardliners.
Gul works the Pol-e-Chakhri checkpoint at the end of an 80-mile stretch that connects the capital to the largest city in the east, Jalalabad.
The road itself is treacherous, widely considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world.
Twisting mountain roads, deep ravines, no speed limits and military camps along the way are a recipe for terrible road accidents. It is also a route for insurgents crossing the border from Pakistan and heading for KabulRead the full story
CNN's Stan Grant visits a madrassa, an Islamic school, in Kabul, Afghanistan, where children learn to hate America.
Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and is the editor of FrumForum.
The killing of Osama bin Laden raises many haunting questions. Here's the most important:
Has our mission in Afghanistan become obsolete?
To think through that question, start with a prior question: Why did we remain in Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban?
The usual answer to that question is: To prevent Afghanistan from re-emerging as a terrorist safe haven.
There have always been a lot of problems with that answer. (For example: Does it really take 100,000 U.S. troops, plus allies, to prevent a country from becoming a terrorist safe haven? We're doing a pretty good job in Yemen with a radically smaller presence.)Read the full story
A filmmaker tells CNN's Nima Elbagir what he found out when he filmed Osama bin Laden's jihad in Afghanistan.
The NATO alliance in Afghanistan anticipates insurgents will attempt to launch an extensive new round of attacks against U.S. and coalition forces as well as Afghan civilians "in the coming days," according to an International Security Assistance Force military official.
The assessment comes as the Pentagon issued its latest semi-annual report to Congress on Afghanistan, which concludes that gains are significant enough to allow for the beginning of transferring security to the Afghans in parts of the country.
Last night I talked to Eliot Spitzer about reports of an April 16 meeting between leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan where, as Eliot said, "these two supposed U.S. allies conspired to throw the U.S. out and look toward China as the benefactor." Here's my view:
Sometimes the United States enters places in South Asia and we assume it is all very simple – there are good guys and bad guys. We are coming in support the good guys, so we presume they should be on our side against the bad guys.
But actually there is an existing set of regional dynamics at work. We’re the interloper. We’re coming into this game pretty late. The regional actors think we are going to leave.Read the full story on Global Public Square
As summer peeks around the corner and warmer weather appears, children splash and play to cool off in the Tarnek River in the Zabul province located in southern Afghanistan.