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June 12, 2009
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
With insurgent violence at its highest point ever, U.S. officials acknowledge they are not winning in Afghanistan. While vastly superior in training and equipment, the combined U.S. and NATO militaries are hamstrung in certain parts of the country by an entrenched and flexible insurgency that relies on low-tech tactics, intimidation and payoffs. President Barack Obama has promised to make the fight his focus in a way that former President George W. Bush did not. The Afghanistan fight, then going relatively well, became an afterthought in Washington, and always second in line for resources, following the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Here's a glimpse from Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder of life with the U.S. Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province(17 images)

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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion walk through the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday June 8. Some 7,000 of the new U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan are fanning out across the dangerous south on a mission to defeat the Taliban insurgency and to change the course of a war claiming American lives at a record pace. AP / David Guttenfelder


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A U.S. Marine from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade walks among fellow Marine footprints in the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion walk through the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday June 8. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A U.S. Marine from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion walks through the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday, June 8. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A U.S. Marine from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines stands guard at a market during a patrol in the town of Deleram in Afghanistan's Farah province Wednesday, June 10. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A U.S. Marine from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines guards as his platoon members enter their base they share with the Afghan National Police in the town of Deleram in Afghanistan's Farah province Wednesday, June 10. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines watch as a helicopter takes of from the landing zone at forward operating base Golestan in Afghanistan's Farah province Thursday, June 11. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are taught how to use a robot to search for improvised explosive devices during training lesson at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait to enter the dining tent inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marine Albert Rivas from San Juan, Puerto Rico and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade sits outside his tent at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade walk through blowing sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday, June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines walks past an Afghan cemetery during a patrol in the town of Deleram in Afghanistan's Farah province Wednesday, June 10. AP / David Guttenfelder



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An elderly Afghan man looks on as a U.S. Marine from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines patrols in the town of Deleram in Afghanistan's Farah province Wednesday, June 10. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A police officer from the Afghan National Police stands guard at a police station in the town of Deleram in Afghanistan's Farah province Wednesday, June 10. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade walk in blowing sand at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade rest inside a tent at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder



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A kitchen worker waits to use a portable toilet as two U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion walk through the sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday June 8. AP / David Guttenfelder



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