Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Free Flight to Afghanistan

These photos below show U.S troops packed in an aircraft as they wait for their departure to Afghanistan. The  military plane is stationed at the U.S Transit Centre in Manas, near Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishek. The Manas Air base is a significant American installation in the Central Asian country.

It serves as a base for humanitarian assistance, refuelling, airlifting, and is a transit point for 15,000 troops, planes and cargo. 

Judging by the easy disposition of the soldiers, it is difficult to tell dozens of them die each month in Afghanistan.

US servicemen inside of a plane before their departure to Afghanistan from the US transit center Manas, 30 km outside the Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek

US servicemen sit inside of a plane before their departure to Afghanistan from the US transit center Manas

 US servicemen board a plane to Afghanistan at the US transit center Manas


  1. I suppose the most noticeable thing about the soldiers (apart from the fact that in the picture they look like sardines packaged in a tin) is that they are young.
    At that stage of life, one's mind is very 'now, now, now' focused. They can afford to see themselves as big virtually invincible supermen. Another thing that comes across is that a lot of them are wearing sun-glasses. How can they expect to successfully fight a war with such dark goggles covering up their visions?
    Or that might just be the soldiers own way of protesting the lack of clarity that is evident in the minds of the politicians making plans on their behalf in Washington and Europe. Especially for keeping them in Afghan and letting more soldiers get wounded and killed even after the successful capture and execution of Bin Laden

    1. Dlaw, thank you for your ever faithful responses. You made a salient point. Do these soldiers take a panoramic, long-lens view of life, or are they just focused on the here and now?

      I'm sure they know they are not invincible. They are probably terribly idealistic or are die-hard thrill seekers. Either way, I feel sorry for them. If the politicians believe so much in the justice of such a war, let their children lead the way in the battlefront.

  2. At first sight, I didn't think they were humans (they are so tightly packed together). I must say, I'm pretty impressed at the number of soldiers that are willing to fight and die for their country.

    Nevertheless, I really don't think sacrificing that number every month is worth it. If they are going to keep dying, then why fight? Well, I'm not a soldier so I really don't know.

    Really missed this blog...going into your archives.

    1. Been missing your avid comments too Lanre. Welikom back!

    2. Lanre!!!! We've really missed you on Fresh Angle! Where have you been?? Been checking your blog & you've been missing in action.

      I wonder too how people are so willing to lay down their lives in the name of defending country.

      It's awful that young men with promising futures are sacrificed monthly on the altar of a pointless war (in my opinion).

      Have they quashed Al Qaeda/snuffed out Taliban influence as a result? NO. So what are they still doing there for donkey years?

      THANK YOU for your comment.

  3. I was once a soldier and I will suggest that the young Americans are feeling cool because of the training and equipment they have compared to their enemies; one thing they forget though is that Talibans have fought the former USSR to a stand still; the Talibans are not conventional soldiers, they are Muslim fanatics, they are in their own country, fighting for them is a way of life, etc. I cannot see winners in this war - not even the Talibans; both US / Europe / Afghans are losers at the end of it all.

    My prayer is that the Soldiers should return to US and Europe as soon as possible and forget ever dreaming to win the war by military means; they should read the history of USSR vs Talibans. It is not worth shedding their bloods for such a place.

    The US / European Governments should channel the funds for this war into feeding the starving children in Africa / Asia and into helping the homeless in their own countries - last winter many of their citizens perished in the streets.

    The other alternative is to continue with the war which lasted about ten years during the USSR era and it may drag on and on to the next ten years from now.

    It is time to bring the troops home; let US/Europe forget ego and do the right thing.

    Kind regards,

  4. Prof G, thank you giving us such a powerful insight into history and politics. In most wars there are never winners, just victims.

    The money can be channelled to better causes, as you rightly said. The U.S invaded Afghan in 2001 - it has been more than 10 years. The Taliban have been around for a very long time. A fire brigade approach to hoover them out of existence is not going to work unfortunately.

    Once again, thanks Prof G.