Combat Outpost Keating

" A Chinook helicopter lands at Combat Outpost Keating, Afghanistan, in this March 2007, file photo. A military investigation of a Taliban attack last fall on the remote U.S. army outpost that left eight American soldiers dead and 22 wounded has resulted in administrative punishments for two commanders blamed for "inadequate measures taken by the chain of command." (Sgt. Amber Robinson/U.S. Army)

“[Combat Outpost Keating] was opened in 2006 in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan Province, an area of mountain escarpments, thick forests and deep canyons with a population suspicious of outsiders. The outpost’s troops were charged with finding allies among local residents and connecting them to the central government in Kabul, stopping illegal cross-border movement and deterring the insurgency.

But the outpost’s fate, chronicled in unusually detailed glimpses of a base over nearly three years, illustrates many of the frustrations of the allied effort: low troop levels, unreliable Afghan partners and an insurgency that has grown in skill, determination and its ability to menace.”

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