September 2, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - American special operations forces have suspended the training of new recruits to an Afghan village militia until the entire 16,000-member force can be rescreened for possible links to the insurgency, U.S. officials said Sunday. The move is the latest repercussion from a series of "insider" shootings carried out by members of the Afghan police and army against Western troops. Forty-five NATO service members have been killed in such attacks this year, and the U.S. toll in August alone was 12 dead.
August 30, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Not long ago, Bamiyan province was considered one of the most peaceful corners of Afghanistan, a remote and scenic enclave that was largely free of the daily violence that roils so much of the country. Now it may become a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of winding down the war here. In the summer of 2011, Bamiyan's tranquil image was such that it was picked as the country's first province for the transfer of fighting duties from Western forces to Afghan troops, a process that is to be replicated across Afghanistan in a prelude to the end of NATO's combat role in 2014.
August 20, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - With the tempo of "insider" shootings accelerating, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in Afghanistan for talks on the phenomenon of Western troops dying at the hands of Afghan allies, U.S. and Afghan officials said Monday. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey flew into the sprawling Bagram air base north of Kabul and was holding consultations with senior U.S. and Afghan commanders and government officials. Hours before his arrival, another American service member was killed in an insider shooting, the 10th such U.S. death this month.
June 7, 2012 |
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.
May 17, 2012 |
Just days before a NATO summit that leaders had hoped would present a carefully scripted display of unity on Afghanistan, the inauguration of a French president committed to an early drawdown has instead intensified a rush for the exits from an unpopular war. In advance of this weekend's summit in Chicago, the Obama administration and senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials have been scrambling to ensure that alliance members remain...
February 24, 2012 |
What is the logic behind the Obama administration's policy toward Afghanistan? On its face, it makes no sense. In 2009, President Obama ordered a major buildup of forces to counter alarming gains by the Taliban and the Haqqani network. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan increased from 34,000 when he took office to nearly 100,000 in 2010. To oversee the buildup he sent two top Army generals, Stanley A. McChrystal and then David H. Petraeus, to design and implement a comprehensive counterinsurgency plan that the president signed off on. In June of last year, however, Obama announced that 32,000 "surge" troops would come home by September 2012 - earlier than Petraeus and his superiors judged prudent.
February 19, 2012 |
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.
January 20, 2012 |
A NATO helicopter crashed Thursday in southern Afghanistan in an apparent accident that killed six members of the international military force, the U.S.-led coalition said. The cause of the crash was under investigation, but the coalition said there were no reports of enemy activity in the area at the time. In line with policy, it would not disclose the identities of those killed or their nationalities until the governments and families involved had been notified. Helicopter-related fatalities and near-misses are not unusual in Afghanistan, although most involve one or two fatalities.
December 13, 2011 |
The top commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday that U.S. forces would begin a major shift next year to an advisory role, in hope of building up the Afghan army's fighting skills and gradually extricating American and allied units from a combat role. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told reporters in Kabul that, starting in 2012, small teams of U.S. advisors would be sent to Afghanistan to live and fight with Afghan army units, with the aim of enabling large U.S. combat units to gradually step back from the lead role in providing security and to withdraw completely by the end of 2014.
October 29, 2011 |
As many as 13 Americans were killed Saturday when a suicide bomber struck their armored military bus in Kabul, in what may be the single deadliest attack on U.S. citizens in the Afghan capital since the war began a decade ago. A U.S. official said the death toll was believed to be 13 U.S. citizens: five service members and eight civilian contractors. But, the official said, a Canadian and at least one British national could also be among the dead. The full extent of the casualties was unclear, he said, because the massive explosion had made identifying the dead difficult.