This summer the US plans to start reducing its troop numbers in Afghanistan - a sign many hope, that NATO's war against the Taliban will one day end.
However, no-one is under any illusions that that will happen soon. And in the meantime the number of combatants and civilians killed and wounded is growing.
Few people understand what this means in reality better than the medevac personnel, who helicopter out across the country to pick up casualties - often while under fire themselves.
But what is it like aboard one of these units?
Veteran freelance cameraman Vaughan Smith spent two weeks embedded with the paramedics of the US Army's 214th Aviation Regiment.
He came back with footage that reveals both the shocking consequences of war and the remarkable skill, dedication and evenhandedness of those providing care.
Where we were not able to get permission to show the faces of the injured, we have obscured their identities.
Some of the images in the film are deeply disturbing.
For more go to Vaughan Smith's blogsite
Blood and dust can be seen on this week's People & Power from Wednesday, February 16, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630; Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930.
Source: Al Jazeera