April 24, 2013 |
Afghanistan has suffered “a troubling rise” in killings of civilians, with the figure surging almost 30% in the first three months of the year, according to a United Nations envoy. Despite the sobering statistic, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that other facts “highlight the improved security across the country,” including dramatic increases in the number of children in school and the share of Afghans who have access to healthcare. The death toll is being closely watched because Afghan forces are slated to take over responsibility for securing the country ahead of the departure of most foreign troops in 2014.
April 9, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two U.S. troops died in eastern Afghanistan after their aircraft crashed Tuesday, military officials said. The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force said the cause of the crash, which took place in a field, is under investigation, although early indications are that there was no enemy activity nearby. Media reports said the accident involved a helicopter, but ISAF spokesman John Manley declined to verify the type of aircraft involved until the service members' next of kin are notified.
March 8, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for talks on the size of the U.S. force expected to remain in the country after next year. The visit, which was not announced in advance, was Hagel's first to the war zone since taking office last month. "I need to better understand what's going on there ... to get a good sense from commanders on the ground ... so I can better advise the president," Hagel told reporters on his Air Force jet before his arrival.
March 2, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Late last year, before leaving Forward Operating Base Tillman for the last time, U.S. troops took apart every inch of the remote outpost near the border with Pakistan, from the dirt-packed barricades to the flat-screen TVs in the intelligence center. Mohibullah Samim, the governor of Paktika province, where the base was located, called it a waste. "I was against dismantling it," Samim said. "It would have been better to hand it over to the Afghan army to keep the border area safe.
February 14, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Over the last 25 days, something unusual has happened in Afghanistan: Not one U.S. service member has been killed. The lion's share of the fighting - and dying - is now being done by Afghans. The last American troop death, from injuries suffered in a December roadside bombing, occurred Jan. 20, marking the longest stretch without a fatality since 2008 and offering a glimmer of evidence that the United States' 11-year war is in its twilight. Deaths among U.S. troops in Afghanistan last year reached a four-year low as commanders hailed a tipping point in a conflict that has claimed more than 2,100 American lives.
February 13, 2013 |
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.