Surprising Amount of US Combat in Northern Afghanistan

Despite Focus on Southwest, Afghan War is Nationwide

Though most of the official reports on the war in Afghanistan focus around the fighting in the Helmand and Kandahar Provinces in the nation’s southwest, the war is not restricted to this area. A growing number of reports are coming out detailing increasingly fierce combat across the nation, even in northern provinces.

Though of course fighting in those regions isn’t unheard of, it is something of a surprise to hear how common it is becoming, particularly as the Taliban had only the most tenuous presence in northern Afghanistan even before the US occupation began in 2001.

But nine years later, Gen. David Petraeus has been forced to admit that the Taliban are actually making inroads in northern Afghanistan, and it seems like the NATO allies that stationed themselves in these provinces in hopes of avoiding combat are finding the combat coming to them.

2010 has already been the deadliest year in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, and with over three months left it seems likely to soundly top the previous recordholder. US officials insist the war will continue, however, and that the strategy will not change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of