“The karez, an ancient irrigation system, however, falls somewhere between perilous and harmless. These underground tunnels snake for miles across the country, sending water from aquifers to villages and into fields used for farming.
The U.S. military has acknowledged the importance of maintaining karez, a central part of Afghan life for three thousand years, to win hearts and minds.
Yet soldiers tasked with assessing the karezes have found that insurgents also use the tunnels to store or smuggle weapons and IEDs. Such discoveries have forced the Army to develop a new strategy and set of tools for safely investigating the tunnels, which draw heavily on technologies like subterranean robots and airborne imaging developed by the mining industry.”
Photo Credit of borehole camera