3:45 PM, Jun 23, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Taliban is conducting an offensive in Afghanistan that included the recent attack on the country's
… parliament building, an assault that prompted the evacuation of lawmakers …
The attack was eventually repelled and a:
… spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior, said that Afghan police had killed seven attackers. Kabir Amiri, a Kabul public-health official, said 31 civilians were wounded in the attack, including three children and five women.
Meanwhile, as Sudarsan Raghavan of the Washington Post reports:
Taliban forces were less than four miles from this strategic northern city Monday [Kunduz] after seizing control of two key districts over the weekend, triggering fears that they could capture their first Afghan city since U.S.-backed forces toppled the hard-line Islamist regime in late 2001.
The government in Kabul has dispatched reinforcements, including Afghan special forces and their U.S. advisers and trainers, to try to repel the insurgents and rescue about 75 soldiers and police officers trapped inside their district base. But as of Monday evening, the Taliban remained in control of the districts, including one separated from Kunduz city only by a wide, brown river.
The attack on parliament was sensational and produced some high value propaganda. But this other offensive is more strategically threatening as:
Whoever controls Kunduz, a vast, rich agricultural region that was a former Taliban bastion, controls the roads to northeastern Afghanistan as well as smuggling and trade routes into neighboring Tajikistan and the rest of Central Asia.
2:09 PM, May 4, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Most American wouldn't know a donkey drop from a paddle scoop, but nevertheless, half a million taxpayer dollars will be going to support a cricket league in Afghanistan. The current grant opportunity looks to build on what was considered a successful 2014 program. The plan is for at least five regional cricket teams from throughout Afghanistan to compete in what is called the Sixers tournament in the fall of 2015.
A better way forward in the Middle East.Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By MAX BOOT and MICHAEL DORAN
The ouster of ISIS fighters from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, has been widely celebrated. Although this victory was brought about in no small part by American airpower, it was a triumph for Iran more than for the United States. The vast majority of fighters on the front lines belonged to Shiite militias, many of them trained, equipped, and advised by the Iranians. Their de facto commander is Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, which is charged with exporting the Iranian revolution.
3:43 PM, Mar 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The United States Army has charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and "misbehavior before the enemy." Bergdahl allegedly abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by Taliban-aligned forces for nearly five years before the Obama administration negotiated a deal with the Taliban forces.
Show availability of Iran for al Qaeda training, plotting.12:27 PM, Feb 27, 2015 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.
7:01 AM, Feb 23, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
While answering questions from service members in Kandahar, Afghanistan, newly sworn-in Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter revealed that he is "open-minded" about transgendered individuals serving in the military, adding, "I don't think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them."
2:51 PM, Dec 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama released this statement, marking the end of America's "combat mission" in Afghanistan:
"Today's ceremony in Kabul marks a milestone for our country. For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.
6:57 AM, Dec 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking with troops in Hawaii on Christmas, President Obama repeated his pledge to end the "combat mission" in Afghanistan "next week."
“We’ve been in continuous war now for over 13 years. Next week we will be ending our combat mission in Afghanistan,” Obama said at the military base, according to the White House pool reporter.