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12 Images

One army, many battles

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Afghan soldiers patrol the mountains of Zabol province, where they hope to engage the Taliban fighters who have recently grown stronger in southern Afghanistan. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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U.S. Army Capt. Andre Sison, left, aided by an interpreter, right, discusses a route plan with an Afghan army commander. U.S. and Afghan troops were conducting a joint search for Taliban fighters. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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A new Afghan recruit carries his gear at the training center outside Kabul. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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A recruit exercises at the training center. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Afghan soldiers sit in their makeshift barracks in Zabol province, where they take part in joint missions with U.S. troops. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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An Afghan recruit takes aim as his group prepares for a shooting drill. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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A pair of recruits go through training exercises. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Part of the Afghan recruits’ training includes learning basic English skills. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Old and balky AK-47s collected from the private armies of warlords are among the weapons the Afghan soldiers must use. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Afghan recruits march in formation during exercises. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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A recruit grips his rifle at the training center. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Recruits prepare for a live-fire shooting drill during exercises. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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