At the Taliban's doorstep: Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city, is the spiritual homeland of the Taliban -- and one of the bloodiest arenas of the coalition's war. Since 2001, 237 coalition soldiers have been killed in action there, a death toll second only to the 421 killed in Helmand. Grim milestones have taken place in Kandahar, including the 2002 assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai and Afghanistan's first suicide bombings in 2005. Now, military officials have named it the next battleground in defeating the Taliban, following the conclusion of the recent coalition operation in Marjah. Above, a U.S. soldier wades through an opium field on March 15 in Howz-e-Madad.