PARCEL RETURN SERVICE, DC, Jun 24, 2010 — Yesterday President Obama fired his top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, in the wake of comments he made in Rolling Stone magazine. Pundits applauded McChrystal's replacement, General David Petraeus. But the dismissal has renewed doubts over the military's ability to win the war. Violence is at its highest since 2001. Corruption and poppy production remain serious obstacles.
With thousands of Fort Drum soldiers already in or soon going to Afghanistan, we're examining the war effort from various points of view. Several years ago, photojournalist and ex-soldier Bill Putnam sent us audio diaries from Iraq. Now, Putnam is in the mountains of Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. He's embedded with a unit out of Texas. Today he sends us the first in a series of audio journals.