Watertown, NY, Nov 26, 2010 — The first troops of President Obama's surge in Afghanistan have returned home. Some 50 soldiers from the 10th Mountain's 1st Brigade touched down at Fort Drum Wednesday. Over the coming months, the rest of the 3500 member brigade will come home after training the Afghan army and police in the northern part of the country.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, the brigade commander Colonel Willard Burleson says he's seeing signs of progress, including some Taliban insurgents giving up their fight.
Still, the Pentagon reports security gains as "slow" in Afghanistan, with members of the Afghan army also deserting. This as the U.S. military enters a four-year scheduled withdrawl from the country.
The New York Times has been taking a deep look at a teeny slice of the war effort. Through articles, photos, and video, the Times is reporting on one unit of Fort Drum's 1st Brigade, the 1-87th Infantry Battalion. Readers can submit their own photos and videos. Many come from fellow troops and family members.
The latest installment in the Times series came out earlier this week. The article told the story of Delta Company's six day mission against insurgents in the village of Nahr-i-Sufi, near Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. In a nutshell, the article invokes oft-quoted truism of war - that war is abject boredom sprinkled with brief moments of intense action and terror. Reporter Jim Dao says that was the pervading reality on the ground.