March 30, 2014 |
Negative early headlines about Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election are easy to imagine. Some candidates are already trying to foster a simplified view among Westerners that they can fail to make the likely second-round runoff only if there is fraud. This is a deliberate attempt to provoke U.S. interference, whatever the facts. A peaceful transition of power to a new president broadly accepted as legitimate by the Afghan people is essential for several reasons: to secure future Afghan stability; to maintain support for Afghanistan in the U.S. Congress; and, above all, to achieve a key strategic goal - that the nation does not again become a base for terrorism against the United States.
March 10, 2014 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban threatened to attack next month's presidential election in Afghanistan, calling on its followers “to use all force” in targeting poll workers and political activists and to disrupt balloting. “We once again call on all of our countrymen to keep away from electoral offices, voting booths, rallies and campaigns so that, may God forbid, their lives are not put into danger,” read a statement released Monday by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban likes to be called.
February 27, 2014 |
BRUSSELS - Security in Afghanistan would decrease steadily if all U.S. troops are withdrawn this year, a senior U.S. military official warned Thursday, two days after President Obama ordered the Pentagon to begin contingency planning for such a pullout. “I can't speculate what the outcome will be,” the commander said in remarks to reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “What I can tell you is Afghan forces aren't self-sustainable at the end of 2014, and over time that obviously will have an impact in terms of the security environment.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss military assessments.
February 26, 2014 |
BRUSSELS -- The U.S. and its European allies on Wednesday turned up the pressure on Afghanistan to authorize foreign troops on its territory after 2014, even as officials acknowledged that they may have to wait for President Hamid Karzai's successor to resolve the standoff. At the opening of a two-day NATO meeting, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that all alliance troops serving in Afghanistan would follow the U.S. in withdrawing at the end of the year if Kabul refuses to sign an agreement with Washington.
February 25, 2014 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - An explosion Tuesday evening at a hotel in southern Afghanistan's Oruzgan province killed at least eight people and injured 37, authorities said. The Afghan Interior Ministry said the attacker was a sucide bomber who was thought to be staying at the hotel in the provincial capital, Tarin Kowt. But the provincial governor, Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, said investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the bomb had placed in a shop in the building. The victims were civilians staying at the hotel, Akhundzada said.
February 25, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Signaling his frustration with events in Afghanistan, President Obama ordered the Pentagon on Tuesday to step up plans to withdraw all U.S. troops by January if Afghan leaders don't sign a bilateral security agreement. In an unusually blunt statement, the White House said Obama had telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make it clear that he had authorized new contingency planning before a two-day meeting of NATO and allied defense ministers in Brussels this week that will focus on long-term security efforts in Afghanistan.