May 2, 2011 |
The Taliban's war was not Osama bin Laden's war. And that, analysts say, is why the killing of the Al Qaeda leader is unlikely to prove a death knell for Afghanistan's resilient homegrown Islamist movement. The methodical tracking of Bin Laden to the Pakistani city of Abbottabad provides an enormous morale boost to the U.S. military and its allies in neighboring Afghanistan. It also points up the strengths of an intelligence-driven strategy of pinpoint raids — methods that also have been successfully employed for much of the last year against the Afghan Taliban's midlevel leadership tier.
December 12, 2010 |
Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with regional leaders Saturday to sign an agreement for a massive energy project that could eventually net his country billions of dollars in revenue: a 1,000-mile natural gas pipeline whose proposed route cuts through the heartland of the Taliban insurgency. As if to highlight the complications facing the project, at least 26 people were killed in attacks Friday and Saturday, including a Taliban commander and several people believed to be with a private security firm, Afghan and NATO officials said.
October 23, 2010 |
Commander H. is nervous. He rarely sleeps twice in the same place, and tosses away his cellphones almost as often as he changes houses. He can't stay in close contact with the foot soldiers who report to him. And he wonders, sometimes uneasily, whether his leaders are looking to cut a deal with the people who are trying to kill him. Midlevel Taliban field operatives such as Commander H., who leads a cell of fighters outside the southern city...
May 24, 2010 |
The father's eyes reddened with tears as he hefted an English textbook that had belonged to his ninth-grade son, Habibuddin. The boy, along with eight other people, was shot dead this month when American special-operations forces swooped down on the family's remote mud-brick compound in the dead of night. "There were no Talibs here — none," Rafiuddin Kushkaki, the owner of the sun-yellowed wheat fields ringing the rural compound, declared in a defiant voice that trailed off into a sob. "Someone tricked the Americans.
April 29, 2010 |
With each stroke of the teenage Taliban militant's lash, the girl's muffled cries pierced the air of this Swat Valley town. The men in the crowd watched silently, aching to intervene but frozen by gunmen pacing in front of them with Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders. A year later, those men say the images from that day remain etched in their memories. The teenage militant wore white. The girl, a 17-year-old named Chand Bibi, stood behind a hastily made screen of sheets and shawls as she was flogged.
February 21, 2010 |
NAWA, Afghanistan and KABUL, Afghanistan — Backed by fighter jets and attack helicopters, U.S. Marines and Afghan troops closed in on an insurgent-ridden sector of Marja on Sunday, the ninth day of a coalition bid to wrest control of the southern Afghan town from the Taliban. The fighting, concentrated in Marja's northwest, took place amid what NATO called "determined resistance" from holdout fighters in various locations in and around the town. Advancing coalition troops faced a continuing threat from small-arms fire and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, the Western military said in a statement.