The Staggers 25 January 2010 About our cover star The mortar-man on the front of this week's issue Print HTML The photographer responsible for the striking Afghanistan cover this week is Lucian Read. We dropped him a quick line to find out more about our cover star. Read, a busy man, dashed off the following email: He is mortar-man with Charlie Co 2nd Battalion 12 Infantry Regiment stationed in Afghanistan Pech Valley. The photograph was taken between fire missions on the morning of the presidential election [7 November 2009] when the company's base came under sustained fire from Taliban fighters in the surrounding mountainsides. › Why do the western media ignore Egyptian dissent? Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean? John Gray on the future of the state on the NS Podcast Could Labour lose the Oldham by-election?