Authority in Transition

Photo Essay: Across Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army and Police begin the slow crawl towards legitimacy. Ongoing distension and corruption, coupled with a hike in attacks on their NATO backers, continues to plague the institutions.

Members of the local Afghan National Police force line up for morning roll call in Pech Valley, Kunar Province.

Afghan police and border patrol officers during a live-fire exercise overseen by American military trainers at a NATO base on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

An Afghan Army soldier watches on as his barracks burns to the ground at a military base in southern Nuristan province. Many soldiers lost their personal belongings in the fire, the cause of which could not immediately be identified.

Local children look on as a joint US Marine-Afghan Army patrol departs a small outpost in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province.

A helicopter pilot and member of the Afghan Air Force sweeps snow off his aircraft before a daily flying mission out of Kabul Airbase.

Haji Wazir Ghul, an influential elder living in a fortified compound in the Pech Valley, is one of several local leaders in the area that NATO has looked to align themselves with in an effort to minimize the permeation of Taliban elements in the region.

An Afghan National Army soldier poses with his heavy machine gun on a mountain outpost at the mouth of the Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan.

An Afghan soldier frantically tries to wake a member of his unit as the outpost comes under a night attack.

Two Afghan soldiers keep watch at a remote outpost in Nuristan. The ridge line in the background is the geographic and political border separating the country from North-West Pakistan.

Children watch a patrol from afar in the Pech Valley, eastern Afghanistan.

A local police officer winces in pain as another Afghan soldier attempts to find his vein during a medical training exercise with American soldiers.