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NEWS
February 12, 2013 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON -- In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama will announce plans to withdraw half the U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan over the next year, a steep reduction that reflects his determination to end the American role in the 11-year-old conflict, a senior administration official said. About 34,000 Americans will be withdrawn over the next 12 months and "further reductions will continue through the end of 2014," when nearly all U.S. troops are scheduled to leave, the official said in a statement released by the White House.
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WORLD
February 27, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Ten members of an Afghan rural paramilitary force and seven others were drugged and killed at an outpost in a volatile eastern province, officials said Wednesday, in the latest deadly poisoning attributed to Taliban insurgents. The killings occurred overnight in a remote district of Ghazni province where villagers last year took up arms against the Taliban. Members of the Afghan Local Police, a U.S.-backed rural guard force made up of village recruits, were poisoned during dinner by a fellow police officer whom officials said had ties to the Taliban, and then were fatally shot by insurgents who overran the outpost, officials said.
NEWS
May 25, 1988 | From Times Wire Services
The Kremlin probably won't meet the goal of pulling one-fourth of its soldiers out of Afghanistan this month because U.S.-backed guerrillas are overwhelming Afghan troops left behind, Western diplomats said Tuesday. Meanwhile, Kabul Radio reported that guerrillas Tuesday staged rocket attacks on Kabul, the Afghan capital, for the second straight day, killing at least two people.
NEWS
December 8, 1985 | BARRY RENFREW, Associated Press
The teen-age army officer quietly pleaded for his life, unable to stop his hands from shaking as he tried to convince his guerrilla interrogators that he was not a Communist. "If God helps, I will be released. If I am not, I will be killed," said the frightened 18-year-old the guerrillas identified as Lt. Nur Mohammed. He had an army crew cut and a smattering of acne. A guerrilla officer listening to him sneered and said he was lying. The guerrilla maintained that Lt.
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WORLD
February 10, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - In an effort to fight the insurgency after U.S. troops leave Afghanistan by the end of next year, officials in Washington and Kabul are planning to dramatically expand a 3-year-old rural police force that has been implicated in human rights abuses and criminal activity. The plan by the U.S. Special Operations Command would extend a financial lifeline from the Pentagon to the Afghan Local Police for at least five more years, providing $1.2 billion to train, arm and pay 45,000 fighters, up from a current force of 19,600, according to senior U.S. officials and planning documents.
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
January 12, 2013 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan - A shy boy with filthy hands and a shabby tunic approached the great man, bowed and tried to kiss his hand. Gen. Matiullah Khan was seated like a sultan on a cushion in his hojra , his airy receiving room. He barely looked at the boy. He nodded to an aide, who withdrew a thick wad of Pakistani rupees from his pocket and handed it to Matiullah. The most powerful man in Oruzgan province, a warlord and tribal leader turned police chief, glanced at the cash.
NEWS
May 2, 1988 | MICHAEL WINES and JIM MANN, Times Staff Writers
Rebels battling Afghanistan's Soviet-backed regime lost at least $80 million in American and Saudi Arabian-supplied weapons destined for their forces when saboteurs blew up a major arms dump in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on April 10, U.S. sources say. The blast, which killed 100 Afghan and Pakistani workers and bystanders, destroyed up to 10% of the cash value of U.S. and Saudi arms sent annually to the rebels, the sources said late last week.
WORLD
November 25, 2011 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan has prepared a request for more troops to serve as advisors for Afghan military units, a sign that Washington and its allies are trying to speed up the hand-over of combat operations to the Afghans as they prepare to withdraw, U.S. and NATO officials said. The stronger emphasis on training may keep more U.S. troops on bases next year and help reduce U.S. military casualties before presidential elections next November. President Obama's Afghan policy is already an issue.
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