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October 21, 2012 | Maeve Reston
In the 16 months that he has been running for president, the thrust of Mitt Romney's policy toward Afghanistan has been this: He would hew to President Obama's timeline to withdraw U.S. troops by the end of 2014, but he would part ways with the president by giving greater deference to the judgment of military commanders. Beyond that, Romney has revealed little about what his guiding principles would be for committing U.S. troops in conflicts around the world or what elements have shaped his thinking about Afghanistan -- subjects likely to be broached in Monday's foreign policy debate.
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WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Hashmat Baktash and Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan presidential race is set for a June runoff between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, according to official results released Saturday. The preliminary tally showed Abdullah winning nearly 45% of the 6.9 million votes cast, and Ghani 31.5%. Election officials will examine hundreds of reports of voting irregularities before issuing final results on May 14, but the allegations didn't appear widespread enough to change the results substantially -- or to give Abdullah the absolute majority needed to avoid a runoff.
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WORLD
November 22, 2010 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
Amid a military tradition honed by the agony of warfare, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was honored and buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery in the section reserved for those who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kelly, 29, was killed Nov. 9 in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan in a disheveled place called Sangin, long a Taliban stronghold. He was leading his platoon on a combat patrol when he stepped on a concealed bomb. FOR THE RECORD: Military funeral: An article in the Nov. 23 Section A about the funeral of Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly said he was believed to be the only son of a general to have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan during the last nine years.
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
MUMBAI, India - Five NATO troops died in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Saturday in the deadliest incident so far this year for the international forces, officials said. The U.S.-led NATO coalition said it was investigating the incident and did not offer additional details. The nationalities of the soldiers weren't released. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends affected by this tragic event,” the coalition said in a statement. Deaths among international troops have declined sharply in Afghanistan as NATO transfers security responsibilities to Afghan soldiers and police and prepares to withdraw most of its forces by the end of the year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 6, 2013 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
CAMP PENDLETON - After writing scores of condolence letters, Marine Gen. John Kelly thought he knew something about the pain of having a son killed during war. Then his own son was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010 and Kelly found the pain more scorching and paralyzing than he had ever imagined. But it also gave him an unbreakable bond with other family members of the fallen. And so on Thursday, near the end of his speech at the unveiling of a memorial to 89 Marines and sailors from the 5th Marine Regiment killed in Afghanistan, Kelly made a personal offer of regret to the Gold Star family members in attendance - regret from someone who has suffered the same loss.
NATIONAL
October 29, 2009 | Associated Press
President Obama made an overnight dash to Dover Air Force Base late Wednesday to honor the return of fallen soldiers as the United States endures its deadliest month of the Afghanistan campaign. On a clear fall night, Obama flew by Marine One helicopter directly to Delaware to greet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans killed in action this week. Upon arrival, the president got into a motorcade to a base chapel, where he was to meet privately with families of the fallen Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1998
Re "Ruling by Starvation," editorial, May 25: The major issue in Afghanistan is not as much ethnic rivalry between the Pushtuns and the Hazaras, as you have indicated, it is the rivalry among the regional powers, each of which is pursuing its narrow interest in Afghanistan and fueling the internal strife. In the 19th century the "Great Game" was played by two superpowers (Britain vs. Russia), which kept Afghanistan stable and independent as a buffer. Currently, the game is being played by several regional powers, creating an oligopoly, which by its inherent nature creates instability and chaos.
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Hashmat Baktash and Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan - Five NATO troops died Saturday in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan in the deadliest incident so far this year for the international forces, officials said. The U.S.-led NATO coalition said it was investigating the incident and did not offer additional details. A secretary for Kandahar's police chief said that the helicopter was British and that five British soldiers were killed. There were no enemy activities in the area and the crash was believed to have been caused by mechanical problems, said the secretary, Esmatullah, who goes by one name.
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali and Hashmat Baktash
KABUL, Afghanistan - The fatal shooting of three Americans in a charity hospital Thursday punctuated a dismal new trend that has emerged in the waning months of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan: Just as many foreign civilians are being killed as troops. The brazen attack by a police officer at the CURE International hospital in Kabul, which serves 37,000 Afghans a year, shocked even this war-weary city and seemed likely to diminish the already dwindling population of foreigners working in the capital.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A Marine now stationed at Twentynine Palms has been awarded the Navy Cross for "courageous leadership, composure under fire and tactical expertise" during a five-hour firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Gunnery Sgt. Richard Jibson, 34, of Muskegon, Mich., received the award Tuesday during a ceremony at the sprawling desert base. During the May 28, 2012, attack by Taliban fighters on Marines defusing a buried bomb in an Afghan village, Jibson "unhesitatingly placed himself between the Marines and the enemy, returning fire and allowing them to safely reach cover," according to the Navy Cross citation.
WORLD
April 16, 2014 | By Hashmat Baktash and Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two security incidents within 24 hours involving Afghan government officials have taken some of the glimmer off of this month's generally successful presidential election and renewed concerns about safety in Kabul. Hours after unknown gunmen kidnapped a deputy minister in President Hamid Karzai's government, a police officer engaged in an argument with a female member of parliament opened fire and wounded the lawmaker in the leg, officials said Wednesday. The lawmaker, Maryam Koofi, was in stable condition at a local hospital, according to a statement from the Afghan Interior Ministry.
WORLD
April 13, 2014 | By Hashmat Baktash and Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan on Sunday released the first preliminary results in its presidential election, which showed a close race between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, with neither man close to an outright majority. Abdullah had 41.9% of the vote, Ghani had 37.6% and Zalmai Rassoul, a longtime advisor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai, was a distant third with 9.8%. The tally, based on 507,000 votes out of an estimated 7 million cast, matched preelection polls that suggested Abdullah and Ghani were the front-runners in the field of eight candidates.
WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan - One year after a 25-year-old diplomat from the Chicago area was killed in a car bombing in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul remembered Anne Smedinghoff on Monday by reading poetry and releasing balloons in a courtyard that was named for her. “She was a truly remarkable young woman and friend,” U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham said in a solemn ceremony on a sun-splashed afternoon in Kabul. The River Forest, Ill., native is the only State Department diplomat to die in the 13-year war in Afghanistan.
WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
MAIDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan - Afghanistan passed the first major test of the impending post-American era on Saturday with an election that featured a robust turnout, minimal violence and few glaring reports of cheating as voters began the process of selecting a successor to 13-year President Hamid Karzai. Next comes the counting of some 7 million ballots nationwide and the investigation of hundreds of claims of irregularities - from the serious to the superficial. The process is likely to take several weeks and none of the three presidential front-runners is expected to win an absolute majority, which would mean a runoff vote between the top two no earlier than the end of May. Still, voters stared down Taliban death threats and lingering memories of fraud-scarred elections, trekking through the deserted streets of Kabul and rain-swept fields in the provinces to polling places guarded by 195,000 Afghan soldiers and police.
WORLD
April 4, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan police officer shot two Western journalists Friday, killing one and seriously wounding the other as they waited in a convoy of poll workers on the eve of the country's closely watched presidential election. The Associated Press said a veteran photographer, Anja Niedringhaus, 48, was killed instantly and that AP correspondent Kathy Gannon was wounded twice but was in stable condition. The shooting occurred in Khost, a violent province along the border with Pakistan, where the journalists were due to accompany election workers who were delivering ballots to outlying areas.
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