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WORLD
April 16, 2010 | By Tony Perry
Marine Warrant Officer Jeremy Piasecki is walking amid the war chaos of Helmand province: bullet-riddled buildings, a terrified populace, a junked economy, a government shot through with incompetence and corruption. Naturally, Piasecki's thoughts turn to water polo. Never mind that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, or that most Afghans have never seen a swimming pool. Or that Piasecki's sport is so unknown here that there's no word for it in Pashto or Dari. Those are but trifles to the 31-year-old Marine reservist, who played and coached water polo in Southern California.
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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
February 13, 2013 | David S. Cloud
The Pentagon will withdraw about half the 66,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan over the coming year, a steep reduction that reflects President Obama's determination to end America's role in the 11-year-old conflict. In his State of the Union address, Obama said 34,000 Americans would be brought home over the next 12 months, and further reductions will continue through the end of 2014, when all U.S. and other foreign troops are scheduled to leave. "American troops will come home from Afghanistan," Obama said.
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 About 34,000 Americans will be withdrawn over the next 12 months and "further reductions will continue through the end of 2014," when nearly all U.S. troops are scheduled to leave, the official said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.
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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January 4, 2011
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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
February 3, 2010 | By Tony Perry
U.S. Marines and the Afghan army plan a major assault on Taliban fighters in Marja, the last main community under the militants' control in what had been a largely lawless area of the Helmand River Valley, 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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