August 27, 1986 |
Massive explosions tore through an army ammunition depot in Kabul, Afghanistan, early today, lighting the sky with flames that rose more than 1,000 feet high, Western diplomatic sources said. There was no immediate word on casualties, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. State-run Kabul Radio reported that the explosions were the result of an accident, the sources said. But Western sources said Muslim rebels may have been responsible.
September 25, 2010 |
One by one, each smartly uniformed member of the class stood at full attention, brandished a graduation certificate and uttered the ritual call-out: "I will serve Afghanistan!" But for the first time, the proud group of newly commissioned army officers was made up entirely of women. The 29 second lieutenants were the first female recruits to complete a 20-week officer-candidate program mentored by U.S. troops. Their graduation ceremony this week at a sprawling training facility on Kabul's eastern outskirts marked a milestone for Afghan security forces and spoke volumes about the complex interplay here of gender roles and security demands.
February 10, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took over Sunday as the newest and probably last U.S. commander in Afghanistan, tasked with ending America's longest war even as insurgents continue to challenge the U.S.-backed Afghan government. Dunford, a four-star Marine officer, arrives as the U.S.-led NATO coalition has dismantled three-quarters of its 800 bases and watches to see whether the Afghan security forces it trained can keep the Taliban insurgency at bay. A ceremony inside the coalition's heavily guarded compound in Kabul marked the end of the 19-month tenure of Gen. John R. Allen, whose command was marred by a rash of deadly “insider” attacks by Afghan forces against their U.S. and NATO trainers and strained relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
February 4, 2013 |
In my Sunday column , I complained that the Senate's one-day confirmation hearing for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense, barely touched on the war in Afghanistan, where 66,000 Americans are still risking their lives for a mission that no longer seems clear. As far as the Senate was concerned, it sounded as if the war was already over. And that's pretty much how Hagel described it as well. “We have a plan in place to transition out of Afghanistan, continue bringing our troops home and end the war," he said.
September 28, 2009 |
During last year's campaign, Barack Obama stressed that while he wanted to withdraw from Iraq, he was no pacifist. "As president," he said on July 15, 2008, "I will make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win." He began to make good on his word on March 27 when he announced a "comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan" that included 21,000 additional troops. The goal, he said, was to "reverse the Taliban's gains" and "prevent Afghanistan from becoming the Al Qaeda safe haven that it was before 9/11."
August 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration plans to double the size of a rural police force in Afghanistan and arm it with heavier weapons to fight insurgents as U.S. troops withdraw, despite Pentagon and Afghan government concern about the village self-defense units becoming predatory criminal gangs or defecting to the Taliban. The danger was highlighted Friday when a new member of the Afghan Local Police shot and killed two U.S. special operations troops and wounded a third moments after they gave him his service weapon during a ceremony for new recruits in the western province of Farah.
December 2, 2009
President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan pleased many military officials, who said they believe the bolstered forces will be able to execute a more robust counterinsurgency strategy. With two decisions to increase troop levels this year, Obama has nearly doubled American combat power in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials noted Tuesday. And while Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal did not get the 40,000 additional troops he reportedly requested, one Defense official said McChrystal would not have to scale back any of his plans to take on Taliban forces in eastern and southern Afghanistan.
May 1, 2011 |
The Taliban on Saturday declared the start of a spring offensive in Afghanistan, warning that insurgents plan to attack foreign troops, Afghan security forces and government officials in coming days. In a statement, the Taliban warned civilians to avoid public gatherings, military bases and convoys, as well as government buildings. "All Afghan people should bear in mind to keep away from gatherings, convoys and centers of the enemy so that they will not become harmed during attacks of mujahedin against the enemy," the statement said.
March 11, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A man in a police uniform opened fire on U.S. and Afghan soldiers Monday at a base in eastern Afghanistan, killing two American troops in what may be the latest in a series of insider attacks by Afghans against allied security forces. Afghan news media reported that three Afghan soldiers also were killed in the shooting in Wardak, the volatile province in eastern Afghanistan where President Hamid Karzai last month ordered U.S. special forces troops to cease operations.
August 23, 2010 |
Violence continued to flare in Afghanistan on Sunday, with four more American soldiers reported killed in three incidents. The buildup of American forces ordered last year by President Obama has brought more attacks from the Taliban against Western troops and efforts by the extremist group to exert its power in the country. Two U.S. troops were killed in insurgent attacks in the east and two others died in southern Afghanistan, the most dangerous areas of the country, where most of the new troops have been deployed.