Band-e-Amir is seen in this undated photo in Bamiyan province of Afghanistan. The cascading collection of deep-blue high-mountain lakes was dedicated as Afghanistan's first provisional national park Thursday June 18, 2009, as the violence-plagued nation took a big first step toward protecting one of its finest natural treasures.
In this photo taken Monday, June 22, 2009, U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines stand guard along a wall in the village of Khwaja Jamal near their base near Now Zad in Afghanistan's Helmand province. Three years after its residents fled, the once bustling town of Now Zad is the scene of a stalemate between U.S. Marines and Taliban insurgents.
Afghan police officers stand near blood stains following a suicide bomb attack in the city of Khost, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, June 22 2009. A suicide bomber on a motorbike killed six civilians when he drove in front of the city's electric power headquarters and set off explosives.
Afghan men strike a pose during a national bodybuilding competition at a cinema hall in Kabul June 2, 2009. Hundreds of competitors entered the annual competition, organised by Afghanistan's national Olympic organisation, to vie for the title of Mr. Afghanistan.
A U.S. Marine from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. wears a belt of ammunition around his neck on July 6, 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of Operation Khanjari, which was launched to combat Taliban fighters using areas in the Southern Helmand Province as resupply routes, and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections.
The tattoo of a U.S. Marine from the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion 5th Marine, is seen through a hole on the back of his uniform shirt, as he stands guard at a compound in the Nawa district of Afghanistan's Helmand province, Wednesday, July 8, 2009.
In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2009, pedal boats are seen anchored at a lake in Band-e-Amir, in the central Afghanistan's province of Bamiyan. The six azure lakes in Band-e-Amir are Afghanistan's first national park. In an attempt to return one small part of the country to normalcy government officials and international donors are promoting tourism to attract visitors to the Bamiyan area.
Children view the body of a six-year-old Afghan boy, who was killed when a weapons cache exploded, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, June 22, 2009. The explosion killed the boy in a nearby village and wounded 20 others, police said.
In this photo taken Thursday, June 11, 2009, Lt. Michelle Smith, of Boise, Idaho, holds hands with 8-year-old Razia at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Razia was evacuated to the hospital in May after she was severely burned when a white phosphorus round hit her home in the Tagab Valley, killing two of her sisters during fighting between French troops and Taliban militants.
A worker pressure washes parts on a U.S. CH-47 Chinook helicopter on June 25, 2009 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The helicopter is part of the 3rd Battalion of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade which is providing air support for troops fighting Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan.
A wounded Afghan translator working for the U.S. military lays on a stretcher as he arrives for treatment on a U.S. military helicopter to the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on June 4, 2009.
A de-miner of the Halo Trust, a British charity that specialize in the removal of land mines, looks at colleagues searching for mines in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on June 10, 2009. Officials and experts fear that increased fighting and and a drop in international funding could prevent Afghanistan from meeting the goal of clear the country of mines by 2013.
Rescuers float down a river on innertubes as they search for survivors of two sunken boats, in Lal Pur district of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. Several Afghans were killed when two boats sank while attempting to transfer groups of people from one side of the river to the other, police officials said. Over 10 people were rescued and approximately a dozen remain missing.
The coffin of Rifleman Daniel Simpson is carried from an aircraft to a hearse during a repatriation ceremony at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, southern England July 14, 2009. The bodies of eight soldiers killed during the bloodiest 24-hours for British forces since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 were flown back home on Tuesday.
The cortege of hearses carrying the bodies of eight British soldiers killed in a single 24-hour period in Afghanistan pass mourners lining the street on Tuesday July 14, 2009 in Wootton Bassett, England.
Members of the security detail for Karl Eikenberry, US Ambassador to Afghanistan, stand in front of a U.S. army Chinook helicopter as it lands near a newly constructed bridge south of Tarin Kot, in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan July 9, 2009.
British army Corporal Sandra Jordan, exercises at Camp Bastion, Britain's largest base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, at sundown, Wednesday June 3, 2009. Jordan is a ward nurse at the camp hospital, where British and coalition force troops, Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, as well as civilians and enemy casualties are treated.
An Afghan woman works on a form of embroidery called Khamak at Kandahar Treasure facilities in Kandahar city, June 14, 2009. Kandahar Treasure, a non-profit project of the Afghans for Civil Society which started out in 2003, employs women artisans from the Kandahar area in order to develop more economic opportunities.
Romanian and U.S. military personnel, bottom right, share a table and check their email as they relax in a recreational and retail area called The Boardwalk Monday, June 29, 2009, at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
Afghans stand around the crater caused by a bomb blast in Mohammad Agha district on the main road from Kabul to Logar province, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 9, 2009. The blast killed 25 people including 13 primary school students, destroying shops and scattering pieces of the vehicle that carried the explosives over a huge area, police said.
An iPod music player is attached to the tactical vest of a U.S. soldier of 3rd Platoon from the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division as he drives to the site of a roadside bomb explosion in the mountains of Wardak Province in Afghanistan July 11, 2009.
A French army soldier of the 8th Artillery Regiment takes part in a joint patrol with U.S and Afghan troops in a village in Kharuti, in the mountains of Wardak Province in Afghanistan July 16, 2009. Picture taken through a night vision device.
U.S Marine Daniel Hinther of Helena, Montana, with the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines throws a hand grenade during close quarter battle with Taliban fighters inside a mud walled compound near Now Zad in Afghanistan's Helmand province Saturday June 20, 2009.
U.S Marine John Daly, right, of Collingdale, Pennsylvania, with the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines is helped by a fellow Marine after injuring his ankle in a fall when Taliban fighters opened fire on him and his squad during a gun battle near Now Zad in Afghanistan's Helmand province Saturday June 20, 2009.
DJ Ashiqullah works at the Garmsir radio station in Helmand province July 7, 2009. The DJs of Radio Garmsir in Afghanistan's lower Helmand River valley knew their station had touched a nerve when the letters started pouring in. First a few, then more, and pretty soon 20 to 30 letters per day, hand delivered to a box outside the NATO base where they broadcast deep into Taliban territory from a desk in a tiny bunker. The letters showed what listeners are aching to hear most is music, banned as un-Islamic by the Taliban.
In this photograph taken on June 8, 2009, Taliban fighters sit on the ground in a prison after their arrest during the joint Operation Tofan, involving the Afghan National Army and NATO forces, in the Balamurghab district of north western Badghis province.
U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 1st Battalion 5th Marines temporarily occupy an abandoned mud walled farm compound in the Nawa district of Afghanistan's Helmand province Friday, July 10, 2009.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris from Yadkinville, North Carolina (center) with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. speaks to an Afghan man through a Marine interpreter (left) after seeing suspicious activity near their base on July 14, 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
A U.S. soldier of 2nd Platoon from the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division looks out of an Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) before departing for a night patrol at Combat Operation Outpost (COP) Conlon in the mountains of Wardak Province in Afghanistan in this July 8, 2009 picture.
U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion 5th Marines are illuminated by a fire in which they burned their trash, as they settle in for the night in an abandoned compound in the Nawa district in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Saturday, July 5, 2009.
A US Marine of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade runs to safety moments after an IED blast in Garmsir district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 13, 2009. Two US Marine soldiers were killed when the explosion occured as they tried to clear a route into the Taliban heartland of southern Helmand province.
Displaced Pashtun women and children gather together for a meeting under a highway bridge near the village of Kafta Khana, Baghlan province of northern Afghanistan, Thursday, July 9, 2009. Hundreds of Pashtuns were forced to leave their original villages by local Tajiks within Baghlan province.
A view of the mountain that once held giant Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 in Bamiyan, central Afghanistan, seen on June 17, 2009. In an attempt to return one small part of the country to normalcy government officials and international donors are promoting tourism to attract visitors to the Bamiyan area.
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Addison Chipoletti from Tampa, Florida of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. uses makeshift equipment to work out on July 11, 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
In this photo taken on Monday, June 1, 2009, a fellow soldier holds the hand of U.S. Pfc. Anthony Vandegrift, of Mililani, Hawaii, as he tells him the names of three of their comrades that were killed in the attack that injured him at the U.S. hospital in Bagram Air base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Vandegrift, of Bravo Company 287, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was wounded and three other soldiers died when the vehicle they were driving was hit by a roadside bomb in the Nerkh district of Wardak province.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson from Bellplain, Minnesota of the 2nd Marine Exhibitionary Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines Echo Company shows Afghan police recruits the proper shooting position when firing a weapon during a training session on June 27, 2009 in Delaram, Afghanistan.
An Afghan woman looks at merchandise at a burqa shop in Herat in western Afghanistan July 2, 2009. Burqa seller Nehmatullah Yusefy's (not in picture) sales at the shop have dropped 50 percent since the Taliban were toppled in 2001 and he says he will soon need to start stocking competing styles of Islamic dress to make up for lost profits. Picture taken July 2, 2009.
U.S Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines walk from their base near Now Zad in Afghanistan's Helmand province on their way to visit the nearby village of Khwaja Jamal to meet with the local population on Monday June 22, 2009.
Sixteen-month-old Aubrey Melton reaches for her father, SSG Josh Melton, as she views his body with her mother Larissa before his funeral service on June 27, 2009 in Germantown, Illinois. SSG Melton, who was serving in Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard, was killed in Kandahar during an IED attack on June 19.