The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan originally scheduled for 2014 was extended through the end of this year. It’s one of the realities of the long-standing war and part of the effort to preserve hard-fought gains.
President Barack Obama announced the change of plans during Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit in March, saying he would keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 for counterterrorism efforts, rather than reducing the number to 5,500 as formerly planned.
The remaining U.S. troops have transitioned from a combat to a training and support role. Afghan police and army forces are now conducting patrols and taking hits from insurgents.
Photographer Ben Brody, part of a team of four journalists with the GroundTruth Project reporting in Afghanistan, worked alongside the U.S. military to document the handover of security to the Afghan army and police.
On Monday’s PBS NewsHour, GroundTruth reports on the gains and losses in Afghanistan after 14 years of war.