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May 24th 2010
Published: May 25th 2010
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The Arghandab ValleyThe Arghandab ValleyThe Arghandab Valley

A view from the air of this magnificent agricultural area. A veritable Shangri-La if only the people were left alone.
Our first field mission outside the compound was to the Arghandab Valley to the west of Kandahar City. The Arghandab River is a major flow from the Hindu Kush into the Helmand River and waters an enormous irrigated area that was constructed in the 1950s - by the USA. The valley is a veritable Shangri-La and used to be the food basket of not just Afghanistan but much of the region. It grows a profusion of pomegranate, grapes, wheat and all kinds of vegetables. Conflicts over the last 30 years have reduced its productivity, but the potential remains.

We drove from our secure compound in the centre of KC, kitted our in body armour and enclosed in armoured cars with teams of "shooters" hefting AK-74s (an upgraded '47) to the district HQ, in a fortified post with a magnificent view over the valley. Then to a farm which the landlord, probably absent in Pakistan or Dubai, had left in the care of his servants. This is where you feel really in bandit country, driving down narrow lanes with high mud walls enclosing the vehicles and nowhere to go if the Taliban springs an ambush or, more likely, sets off an
View NorthView NorthView North

Looking up the valley from the fortified district HQ. The farm we visited is only a kilometre away, but in bandit country.
IED, left there on spec to catch a passing patrol.

But the farm was great. A huge area, probably 2-3 hectares of vegetables and pomegranates with cement-lined irrigation channels. It was a pleasant, if tense, escape from the confines of the compound and a chance to see what agriculture could be if only people were left alone to get on with their lives.

Additional photos below
Photos: 4, Displayed: 4


Farm in the ValleyFarm in the Valley
Farm in the Valley

Just a beautiful spot, with vegetables and pomegranate trees behind a high mud wall.

The Arghandab Valley grows these fruits in profusion.

28th May 2010

Thank You
·Just a quick note to say thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us., My son is currently serving in the Arghandab Valley and its nice to see where he is and here news from his area,.
5th June 2010

our son will deploy to Arghandab Valley, your pictures and notes help us gain a clearer picture of where he's heading, thanks
14th July 2010

Brenda Pertz Thank you
Our son's unit 101st Airborne I-75 Cav was is being sent to Arghandab Valley to help the troops that are currently there. I was looking this up to see where this is located. My prayers for all our brave boys/men that are there fighting this war, that they all come home safe to their families real soon. Thank you.
19th November 2010

son is going here
My son is being deployed here. If any other parents have had a love one deployed here please feel free to write me at
15th February 2011

my goodness im glad your sons are fighting in the valley but that par. has nothing to do with everyday life in the valley. im serving with 4id here in the valley and it is hell on earth hate to shoot down everyones hopes and dreams

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