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October 6, 2010
Afghanistan-nine years of war
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year Thursday with key players hedging their bets, uncertain whether the Obama administration is prepared to stay for the long haul, move quickly to exit an increasingly unpopular conflict, or something in between. Fearing that his Western allies may in the end abandon him, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has started to prepare his nation for a withdrawal of international forces by shoring up relations with neighboring Pakistan and reaching out to insurgents interested in reconciliation. Pakistan, America's nominal ally, says it's fighting insurgents. But it still tolerates al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban militants hiding out on its soil - out of reach of U.S.-led NATO ground forces. There have been other important junctures, but this ninth anniversary is proving decisive. It's go-for-broke time in Afghanistan.

Here is a collection of images from the war made by Associated Press photographers. Be advised some pictures depict the graphic nature of war. (44 images)

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In this Sunday, June 26, 2005 file picture, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter lifts off after dropping off soldiers in the village of Bagh in the Khakeran Valley, Zabul province, Afghanistan. AP / Tomas Munita

In this Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010 file picture, a U.S. soldier returns fire as others run for cover during a firefight with insurgents in the Badula Qulp area, West of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, near Marjah, where U.S. Marines are conducting an offensive against the Taliban. AP / Pier Paolo Cito

In this Wednesday Feb. 17, 2010 file picture, U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Whitman, from Clearwater, Fla., and from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment kicks in a door to search a compound while on a patrol in Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province. AP / David Guttenfelder

In this Thursday, July 29, 2010 file picture, Spc. Dallas Purdy from Hockley, Texas, hangs a message of support from friends Ashley and Katie Daniels while serving with the 1-320th Alpha Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division at COP Nolen, in the volatile Arghandab Valley, Kandahar, Afghanistan. AP / Rodrigo Abd

In this Wednesday, July 28, 2010 file picture, U.S. Army Lt. Christopher Babcock looks at the body of a suspected Taliban fighter killed by U.S. soldiers from 1-320th Alpha Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, while local people say the man was a farmer from Samir Kalacha village in the volatile Arghandab Valley, Kandahar, Afghanistan. AP / Rodrigo Abd

In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 file picture, an unidentified man raises his hands as he walks away from the scene of an explosion at a guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Ahmad Massoud

In this Monday March 8, 2010 file picture, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, left, speaks with Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal during a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Jim Watson

In this Friday, May 28, 2010 file picture, police officers walk past a burning oil tanker carrying fuel supplies for NATO forces after it was attacked on Jalalabad highway, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Rahmat Gul

In this Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 file picture, newly trained female officers of Afghan National Army take front seats as a new group of officers attend their graduation ceremony at National Army's training center in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Gemunu Amarasinghe

In this Monday Sept. 27, 2010 photo reviewed by the U.S. military, the top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus, center, tours the grounds of the U.S.-run Parwan detention facility near Bagram north of Kabul, Afghanistan. The U.S. military opened the new prison named after the surrounding Parwan province in November to replace the original facility in an effort to improve living conditions and reintegration programs. AP / David Guttenfelder

in this Monday, July 19, 2010 file picture, Beverly A. Crow, center, sits with unidentified family members during the funeral for her husband, Missouri Army National Guard Sgt. Robert Wayne Crow in Liberty, Mo. Sgt. Crow, 42, of Kansas City, Mo., died July 10 in Paktika, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was a combat engineer with the 203rd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Joplin, Mo. AP / Charlie Riedel

In this Friday, July 30, 2010 file picture, a U.S. medical helicopter arrives to evacuate a soldier from the 1-320th Alpha Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, who was seriously wounded when he stepped on an improvised mine near Combat Outpost Nolen, in the volatile Arghandab Valley, Kandahar, Afghanistan. AP / Rodrigo Abd

In this Thursday July 29, 2010 file picture, Tech. Sgt. Jeff Hedglin, right, and Senior Airman Robert Dieguez, both U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen, or PJs, place into a body bag, the remains of one of two U.S. soldiers killed minutes earlier in an IED attack, as soldiers, unseen wait to carry them away, upon landing after a helicopter rescue mission in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. AP / Brennan Linsley

In this July 11, 2010 file picture, U.S. soldier from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne, has his head shaved by the light of a flashlight at Combat Outpost Ware in the volatile Arghandab Valley, outside Kandahar City. AP / Kevin Frayer

In this Nov. 3, 2009 file photo, Cpl. Casey Liffrig, left, leaps for cover as Lt. Thomas Goodwin gets down as Taliban fighters ambush U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during a patrol in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province. AP / David Guttenfelder

In this Sept. 23, 2009 file photo, soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, fire a 120mm mortar during a fire mission at the combat outpost Zerok in East Paktika province in Afghanistan. AP / Dima Gavrysh

In this May 11, 2009 file photo, soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, TX, far left was wearing his "I love NY" boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members. At right is Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, La. and Jordan Custer of Spokane, Wash., center. AP / David Guttenfelder

In this July 8, 2009 file photo, U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion 5th Marines sleep in their fighting holes inside a compound where they stayed for the night, in the Nawa district of Afghanistan's Helmand province. AP / David Guttenfelder

In this Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 file picture, a child looks on as military vehicles of 5th Striker Brigades drive past his village on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Thousands of U.S. troops are deploying in southern Afghanistan as part of an effort to prevent the Taliban from disrupting the country's Aug. 20 presidential ballot. AP / Emilio Morenatti

In this May 6, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks to reporters after his meeting with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, left, and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. AP / Charles Dharapak

In this Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 file picture, President Barack Obama, right, salutes as a carry team walks with the transfer case containing the remains of Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., who died in Afghanistan according to the Department of Defense, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del. AP / Susan Walsh

In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, U.S. Marines with Alpha Company-Task Force Raider, 2nd Recon Battalion lie down inside a small patrol base during a pause in an all night mission in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Task Force Raider is a strike force which conducts raids targeting Taliban networks in the Helmand province. AP / Brennan Linsley

In this Monday, April 28, 2008 file picture, relatives mourn over the body of lawmaker Fazel Rahman Samkanai at the hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. Samkanai, who was about 30 yards away from President Hamid Karzai, was killed when suspected Taliban militants attacked a ceremony marking the 16th anniversary the defeat of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in Kabul on Sunday. AP / Rahmat Gul

In this May 2, 2008 file photo, U.S. Marines, from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, return fire on Taliban positions near the town of Garmser in Helmand Province of Afghanistan. AP / David Guttenfelder

In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008 file picture, Pakistani army 130mm artillery guns fire towards militant positions in the Bajur tribal region on the border with Afghanistan, Pakistan. Pakistan is battling surging attacks by al-Qaida and Taliban militants. Most of them are based in the rugged and lawless tribal region across from Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO forces are fighting an increasingly tenacious Islamist insurgency. Al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are believed to be hiding somewhere along the border. AP / Emilio Morenatti

In this Saturday, March 15, 2008 file picture, thousands of anti-war protesters walk past the Houses of Parliament in central London, calling for troops to be pulled out from Iraq and Afghanistan and to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. AP / Lefteris Pitarakis

In this Tuesday, Sept 11, 2007 file picture, plumes of fire and smoke fill the sky after a suicide car bomb explosion which hit fuel tanker trucks on the main highway of Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Abdul Khaleq

In this Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 file picture, tears run down the cheeks of U.S. Staff Sgt. Alicia Watkins from Washington D.C. as she salutes during a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at a U.S. military base in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Musadeq Sadeq

In this Tuesday, July 4, 2006 file picture, a woman looks out through a destroyed window after a bomb exploded in Kabul, Afghanistan in front of a cinema near the presidential palace, wounding at least four people, police said. AP / Rodrigo Abd

In this Wednesday, April 13, 2005 file picture, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, left, and President Hamid Karzai give a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Tomas Munita

In this Monday, Nov. 14, 2005 file picture, police officers secure the area in front of a burning international peacekeeper vehicle after a second suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, and just minutes before a third attempt in the same site. Two separate suicide attackers rammed cars laden with explosives into NATO peacekeepers in the Afghan capital, killing at least one German soldier and wounding eight other people. Peacekeepers opened fire to thwart a suspected third bombing attempt, killing three people. AP / Tomas Munita

In this Sunday, Sept. 22, 2002 file picture, U.S. Army soldiers of Task Force Panther 82nd Airborne Division take a local man suspected of sheltering al-Qaida members into questioning after seaerching a compound in the southeast region of Afghanistan. AP / Wally Santana

In this Feb. 2, 2002 file photo, a suspected al-Qaida or Taliban detainee from Afghanistan is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at the detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. AP / Lynne Sladky

In this Monday, Oct. 7, 2002 file picture, a U.S. Air Force pilot in an A-10 Thunderbolt attack jet returns from a combat mission, in Bagram air base, northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan. AP / Darko Bandic

In this Monday, Oct. 15, 2001 file picture, a Taliban soldier scans the sky as he holds a rocket launcher at the Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. AP / Enric Marti

In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001 file picture, a plume of smoke rises from the village of Esferghich after two US aircraft released their load of bombs, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Afgahn capital of Kabul as a part of the U.S. attempt to help the northern alliance advance toward the capital and other key areas. AP / Marco Di Lauro

In this Friday Nov. 2, 2001 file picture, Taliban fighters, one carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, foreground, and one carrying a heavy machine gun, walk through the ruins of a mud house near Kandahar, Afghanistan. AP /

In this Monday, Dec. 31, 2001 file picture, Marines with full battle gear prepare to board transport helicopters at the U.S. military compound at Kandahar airport for a mission to an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. AP / John Moore

In this Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2001 file picture, an Afghan northern alliance Mujahed looks at a plume of smoke rising from the Taliban village of Khanaqa in the Parwan province, from his position at the Mahmood Raqy frontline in the Kapisa province, 55 kilometers (30 miles) from the Afghan capital Kabul, after an aircraft released it's load of bombs as part of the U.S. attempt to help the northern alliance to advance toward the capital and other key areas. AP / Marco Di Lauro

In this Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2001 file picture, an aircraft flies over Mahmood Raqy in the Kapisa province, 55 kilometers (30 miles) from the Afghan capital Kabul, after releasing its load of bombs on the Taliban village of Khanaqa in the Parwan province as part of the U.S. attempt to help the northern alliance fighters advance toward the capital and other key areas. AP / Marco Di Lauro

In this Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001 file picture, a fighter with the northern-based alliance opposed to Afghanistan's Taliban rulers fires at Taliban positions on a frontline outpost in northern Takhar province in Puli Khumri Hill, Afghanistan, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border with Tajikistan. AP / Misha Japaridze

In this Sunday, Oct. 14, 2001 file picture, 1-year-old Azizullah lies in the arms of his father Ahmanzai at the hospital in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. They were allegedly wounded in the village of Karam, some 50 km (30 miles) west of Jalalabad, Afghanistan during a U.S. air attack. According to the Taliban government, who organized a visit to the village by foreign journalists, around 200 civilians were killed in Karam on Thursday, during a U.S. air attack. AP / Enric Marti

The image made from video broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001 shows Osama bin Laden at an undisclosed location. Graphic at top right reads "Exclusive to Al-Jazeera." At bottom right is the Al-Jazeera television network logo. At top left is "recorded." AP /

In this Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001 file picture, President George W. Bush, right, meets with, from left, CIA Director George Tenet, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in the Oval Office of the White House after the president informed the nation that air strikes were made against Afghanistan. AP / Eric Draper

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