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WORLD
February 4, 2010 | By Tony Perry
The U.S. Marines and Afghan army plan a massive assault on Taliban fighters in Marja, the last community under Taliban control in a sprawling, lawless region of Afghanistan once dominated by the insurgency, a top Marine said Wednesday. "We are going to gain control," Col. George "Slam" Amland told reporters. "We are going to alter the ecosystem considerably." Amland, deputy commander of Marine forces in southern Afghanistan, would not discuss the timing of the assault or how many thousands of troops would be involved.
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NEWS
February 8, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
The Afghan army warned residents along the Salang Highway to flee their homes because of fierce fighting expected on the vital supply route between Kabul and the Soviet Union, the official Soviet news agency Tass reported Tuesday. With only one week before the last Soviet troops are due to leave Afghanistan under a peace accord, Tass said Muslim rebels battling the Soviet-backed Kabul government are again attacking food and fuel convoys.
WORLD
December 9, 2012 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Fifteen U.S. soldiers huddle in a circle. A blue Toyota packed with explosives has been reported somewhere in the city. The troops bow their heads and clasp hands. "Dear Lord, protect us and protect those entrusted to us as we help the Afghans protect themselves," says Lt. Col. Patrick Michaelis, their gangly 41-year-old commander. "Amen," say his men. Every trip outside the wire begins the same way: a quick check of the latest intelligence, then the prayer, which never varies.
WORLD
August 22, 2006 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
This remote village in the high desert of southern Afghanistan is home to six mud huts and 70 people. A few miles away, tucked behind two soaring escarpments, the settlement of Qazi contains four huts, 50 people and a few goats. More than 100 Afghan army soldiers descended on the two villages one day last month looking for Taliban fighters. After a carefully scripted battle plan, the soldiers sealed the villages and searched every hut, shed, paddock and fighting-age male.
WORLD
December 11, 2012 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration plans on keeping 6,000 to 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, fewer than previously reported, and will confine most of them to fortified garrisons near the capital, leaving Afghan troops largely without American advisors in the field to fight a still-powerful insurgency, U.S. officials said. Although it is not final, contours of the plan have become increasingly clear in the weeks since President Obama's reelection. Officials close to the discussions say the final U.S. presence will be substantially smaller than the 15,000 troops senior commanders have sought to keep after most of the 68,000 remaining American troops leave in the next two years.
WORLD
February 27, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
BRUSSELS - Security in Afghanistan would decrease steadily if all U.S. troops are withdrawn this year, a senior U.S. military official warned Thursday, two days after President Obama ordered the Pentagon to begin contingency planning for such a pullout. “I can't speculate what the outcome will be,” the commander said in remarks to reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “What I can tell you is Afghan forces aren't self-sustainable at the end of 2014, and over time that obviously will have an impact in terms of the security environment.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss military assessments.
NEWS
July 9, 1989 | From Associated Press
The Afghan government reported Saturday that its troops, backed by tanks and artillery, have advanced farther toward the Pakistani border, destroying guerrilla bases and killing 81 insurgents. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Nabi Amani said the Afghan army, on the fourth day of an offensive, advanced two miles and was 32 miles from the border. Amani said government troops are in complete control of Jalalabad and surrounding hills, giving them a strategic advantage over the rebels.
NEWS
October 22, 2012 | By Shashank Bengali
President Obama and Mitt Romney papered over the problems plaguing U.S. efforts to leave behind a stable Afghanistan when NATO combat troops stand down by the end of 2014. And Romney, in essence, endorsed Obama's policies. “We've seen progress over the past several years,” Romney said during Monday's presidential debate. Referring to Obama's decision to add 33,000 U.S. troops, Romney said, “The surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace.” However, the debate ignored the growing problem of Afghan soldiers turning on those trainers, who include American soldiers.
WORLD
March 1, 2010 | By Tony Perry
The Afghan troops who supported the U.S. Marines in the battle to end Taliban control of this town in Helmand province showed marked improvement over last summer's performance in a similar fight but still need much more training, Marine commanders say. Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the top Marine here, said that overall the Afghan battalions exceeded his expectations. Nicholson said he would give some Afghan units an A-minus or B-plus but that others, particularly those with soldiers fresh from basic training, would get a C-minus or D. The lead Afghan commander, Brig.
NEWS
August 15, 1988 | MICHAEL PARKS, Times Staff Writer
The Soviet Union on Sunday completed the withdrawal of half of its troops from Afghanistan, one day before the agreed deadline, the commander of Soviet forces in that country said. Lt. Gen. Boris Gromov, speaking at a press conference in Kabul, the Afghan capital, said that none of his forces remain in 25 of Afghanistan's 31 provinces and that the estimated 50,000 Soviet soldiers still in the country will leave over the next six months under terms of a U.N.-sponsored agreement.
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