Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
On March 19, 2003, the US launched a preemptive strike against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The war was supposed to last "six days, six weeks... I doubt six months," and cost under $50 billion, according to Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense at the time. Today—105 months, $823.2 billion dollars, 4,800-plus coalition deaths, and countless thousands of civilian casaulties later—the last US combat troops have finally left Iraq. For Iraqis and veterans, the after-effects of Operation Iraqi Freedom will linger on for years to come.
But America wasn't just at war with Iraq: The war in Afghanistan rages on, and America's counterterrorism battles continue at home. Mother Jones has been posting photos of America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines every week since 2008 to remind ourselves and our readers that we're still at war. This slideshow is a collection of 12 of these images, one for each month of 2011. From the mountains of Afghanistan to the US military's training ranges in Alaska, these photos of our troops are a reminder that there's still no end in sight.