It’s been 13 years since the American military ousted the Islamist Taliban government, and as the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force prepares to finish its combat mission at the end of the year, Western influence can be seen far beyond the battlefield in this once isolated nation — from American hip-hop blaring in taxis, to pizzerias and blue jeans.
Before he deployed to Afghanistan several years ago, Marine veteran Christopher Billmyer bought a German shepherd that had been hit by a car. "I've always liked their looks and demeanor. They're a one-man dog, devoted and loyal." After he lost both legs from an IED blast in Helmand province and following his discharge, Billmyer decided to get another dog.
Faced with one of its biggest challenges in years — repairing a troubled nuclear missile corps — the Air Force has taken an important first step by admitting, after years of denial, that its problems run deep and wide.