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Afghan Troops

June 7, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - The dusty truck stop in southern Afghanistan, with its surrounding crush of humble, tumbledown shops outside an American-run military base, was every bit as chaotic and oh-just-give-me-your-business in attitude as always. Logically enough, it was during the busy late morning Wednesday when the attackers chose to strike, with a coolly thought-out plan. A violent initial hit, and then a short wait until rescuers arrived. Pause just until the crush of panicked bystanders had rushed in to help the bloodiest and most helpless of the victims of the first thundering explosion.
July 19, 2011 | Laura King
A new U.S. commander, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, formally took control of the war in Afghanistan on Monday, inheriting a nearly decade-long conflict that has cost the lives of at least 1,668 American troops. Allen succeeds Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is leaving to head the CIA. Petraeus had been in command for only a year, hastily taking the helm after President Obama forced out Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal after a Rolling Stone article on him reported intemperate comments by his staff about the administration's civilian leadership.
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.
August 13, 2009 | Associated Press
U.S. Marines battled Taliban fighters for control of a strategic southern town in a new operation to cut militant supply lines and allow Afghan residents to vote in next week's presidential election. Insurgents appeared to dig in for a fight, firing volleys of rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds and missiles from the back of a truck at the Marines, who were surprised at the intense resistance. By sunset, Marines had made little progress into Dahaneh beyond the gains of the initial predawn assault Wednesday.
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.
February 7, 2010 | By Laura King and Tony Perry
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan -- The effectiveness of the alliance between the U.S. military and Afghanistan's security force rests on a particularly delicate question: Will sufficient numbers of Afghans put up a good fight against the Taliban -- starting very soon? Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's strategy to reduce the U.S. role in Afghanistan includes increasing the training of the Afghan force, doubling its size and enhancing its capabilities.
September 15, 2010 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
Hundreds of U.S. and Afghan troops pushed into insurgent-dominated areas west of Kandahar city early Wednesday, hoping to establish a foothold not far from the area where the Taliban movement was born. The assault south of the main highway in the Zhari district by elements of the 101st Airborne Division was aimed at cutting off routes that insurgents use to move fighters, explosives and drugs into Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city. The operation, which involves parts of three U.S. battalions, as well as British engineers deployed to help clear hidden bombs, is one of the biggest troop actions in a months-long military campaign in the region.
February 19, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
At the gate of the capital's army recruitment headquarters, a young Afghan sergeant in crisp camouflage and a jaunty beret demanded a letter of introduction from arriving visitors. But when one was produced, written in Dari, the dominant language in Kabul, he asked one of the visitors to read it to him. These days, Afghanistan's armed forces are under pressure as never before to dramatically step up their performance in everything from literacy to logistics. NATO is speeding up its transfer of fighting duties to the national police and army, and at the same time, the cash-pinched coalition intends to cut back substantially on plans for funding a long-term Afghan force strength of more than 350,000.
April 4, 2010 | By Laura King
By any standard, it was a disastrous day for an important U.S. ally in Afghanistan. First, three German soldiers died in an unusually fierce battle with insurgents, then German troops accidentally killed six Afghan soldiers apparently coming to their aid. The chaotic chain of events in the northern province of Kunduz, detailed by Afghan and NATO officials Saturday, a day after the fact, could further undermine German public backing for the conflict....
February 13, 2010 | By Tony Perry and Laura King
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and The Outskirts Of Marja, Afghanistan -- Thousands of U.S., British and Afghan troops moved to seize the Taliban stronghold of Marja early Saturday in what the Marine general leading the assault called a "big, strong and fast" offensive aimed at challenging the insurgency's grip on a key southern Afghan province. Rounds of tracer fire lighted up a starry, predawn sky as waves of troops, ferried in by helicopters, descended on the farming districts that surround the town.
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