Afghanistan Articles

Graham, Ayotte, McCain: Don't Repeat 'Fatal Mistakes' in Afghanistan

4:50 PM, Apr 22, 2014

In response to a report that the Obama administration may cut U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to below 10,000, senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain have released a statement. Read it below:

We hope a recent press report that the White House is considering a post-2014 force in Afghanistan well below the recommendations of our military commanders is incorrect.

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Snatching Failure From Victory In Afghanistan

Troop levels to fall to below 10,000.
11:38 AM, Apr 22, 2014

Media reports suggest that President Obama is looking to declare victory and withdraw from Afghanistan, as he did from Iraq. The military commander in Afghanistan, General Joe Dunford, has said that he needs 10,000 US troops to accomplish the missions the president has said he wants to accomplish after this year.

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Military Looking to Sell or Destroy MRAPs, Humvees, and Other Equipment

7:02 AM, Mar 17, 2014

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, commanders face the question of what to do with all that equipment.

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Paranoia in Kabul

Hamid Karzai and his enemies.
Feb 24, 2014

With a presidential election less than two months away, all eyes in Afghanistan should be on the coming vote. It could be Afghanistan’s first-ever peaceful transfer of power, and 11 candidates are running. Instead, Kabul is buzzing over the actions of term-limited outgoing president Hamid Karzai, whose strange behavior confounds allies and enemies alike. 

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There Is No Peace

8:45 AM, Feb 10, 2014

The war in Afghanistan is winding down and al Qaeda is on the run. Perhaps. But the war goes on.

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A Small, Incoherent State of the Union Address

1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014

President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.

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All or Nothing in Afghanistan?

9:49 AM, Jan 27, 2014

David S. Cloud of the Los Angeles Times reports:

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Know Your Enemy

Al Qaeda’s grand strategy
Jan 20, 2014

In the summer of 2008, Barack Obama, senator and presidential candidate, toured the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama had endeared himself to the antiwar left by denouncing President Bush’s decision to topple Saddam Hussein and repeatedly claiming that the war in Iraq had diverted resources from defeating al Qaeda and its allies in South Asia. Obama did not tone down this criticism even as he spoke with CBS News from Kabul on July 20, shortly before proceeding to Saddam’s former abode. “We got distracted by Iraq,” Obama said.

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A Thin Camo Line

10:37 AM, Jan 16, 2014

This is the year when the U.S. Military withdraws from Afghanistan.  Entirely, if status-of-forces negotiations go badly.  Not quite that severely if things can be worked out with the regime of President Karzai.  Either way, the bases from which U.S.

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Afghanistan: Last Year; First KIA

7:24 AM, Jan 06, 2014

Heath Druzin of Stars & Stripes reports that a member of the ISAF  (International Security Assistance Force):

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Afghanistan: Dim Outlook & Low Approval

2:45 PM, Dec 31, 2013

A recent intelligence report on the future of Afghanistan, as outside support (from the U.S., largely and other NATA nations at the margins) is slowly withdrawn, is not encouraging.

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We’ll Get Right Back to You On That

11:22 AM, Dec 13, 2013

It is taken as a given that the Obama administration has lost interest in Afghanistan and cannot get out of that country soon enough. And that the Karzai regime is doing its part by dragging its feet on a status-of-forces agreement. But to have things come to this:

President Obama’s brain trust on Afghanistan does not know much the U.S. spends on the war each year or the American cost in lost lives on the battlefield.

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Necessary But Not Sufficient

3:54 PM, Dec 02, 2013

Back when he had not been in the White House very long, President Obama called the fight in Afghanistan as “a war of necessity.”  That, to distinguish it from his predecessor’s “war of choice,” in Iraq and to justify the decisions he would make and the actions he would take to make sure that the conflict in Afghanistan went our way.  Among these decisions was a troop “surge,” modeled after the one that had been successful in Iraq.

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Return to the Dark Ages?

4:26 PM, Nov 26, 2013

Today in Afghanistan, as Gayle Tzemach Lemmon at Defense One reports:

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Contractor Supporting Insurgents in Afghanistan Granted Access to Coalition Facilities

10:08 AM, Nov 13, 2013

In a November 8 letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) warned that a contractor that had been identified with the insurgency had been granted access to a Coalition facility last November, and that the threat of further access by such contractors remains.  SIGAR uncovered the information while conducting an investigation of the structural defects at the Parwan Justice Center, a new courthouse being jointly constructed by the State and Defense Departments.

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Inspector General: Gov't Partner Paid $500 Per Gallon of Gas in Afghanistan

11:11 AM, Oct 23, 2013

A recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recalls the 1980s stories of $640 toilet seats and $500 hammers.

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1:02 PM, Oct 13, 2013

Secretary of State Kerry and Afghanistan's Karzai say they are this close to an agreement that will keep some U.S. forces in the country after the big, 2014 pullout. As Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Eltaf Asefy Najafizada of Bloomberg report:

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America at War … Still

9:47 AM, Oct 09, 2013

The fighting goes on in Afghanistan.  As does the dying.  United States troops have been in the country for 13 years and more than 2,000 of them have been killed there, four of them last Sunday.  As Adam Ashton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports, the dead included:

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Taliban Still Backs Al Qaeda

2:24 PM, Aug 06, 2013

The U.S. State Department announced today that it has designated a terrorist who has fought for the Taliban since the late 1990s and continues to support al Qaeda. Bahawal Khan is the leader of the Commander Nazir Group (CNG), which is “behind numerous attacks against international forces in Afghanistan,” as well as attacks inside Pakistan.

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'Cautious Hope' from Afghanistan

10:23 AM, Aug 05, 2013

In the midst of a fair amount of depressing news from Afghanistan (e.g., al-Qaeda backers get U.S. military contracts, U.S. cites “due process rights” as reason not to cancel), here's a report from the front that offers some grounds for hope.

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Is Al Qaeda On the Run? Or Are We?

7:54 AM, Aug 03, 2013

Ten days ago, as John McCormack noted, in the midst of a speech about the economy President Obama mentioned some other issues:

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'U.S. Soldiers Mourn an Inspiring Afghan Ally'

9:45 AM, Aug 01, 2013

Anne Jolis, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

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Al Qaeda Reborn?

12:35 PM, Jul 27, 2013

Are we watching the demise of al Qaeda or its rebirth?

A bracing new piece in the Daily Beast makes a persuasive case that it’s the latter -- that recent developments in Iraq, across the greater Middle East and South Asia point to a resurgence of al Qaeda and a strengthening of its affiliates.

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Kinzinger Remains Hopeful

5:10 AM, Jul 24, 2013

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a war veteran, gave an optimistic speech about Afghanistan yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives: 

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A Bad Month in Afghanistan

10:36 AM, Jul 01, 2013

We, and our allies, are getting out, but it will, not evidently, be easy.

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The Bombs of Kabul

9:51 AM, Jun 25, 2013

It is not enough for the Taliban that the U.S. is getting out of Afghanistan and abandoning vast amounts of equipment as it goes.  The departure must be made deadly and humiliating.  So as Rahim Faiez of AP reports:

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Release Osama Bin Laden’s Files on Taliban

1:24 PM, Jun 19, 2013

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was moving forward with its attempt to negotiate with the Taliban, which has opened a long-awaited political office in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban released a statement trumpeting its new political front. Within hours, Afghan president Hamid Karzai blasted the U.S. government, saying the talks will only advance “foreigners' strategies and goals” and are “completely in contradiction to the assurance that was given to Afghanistan by the United States of America.”

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WH on American Soldier Kidnapped By Taliban: He's 'Been Away from Us for Four Years'

2:03 PM, Jun 18, 2013

On Tuesday, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden moderated a conference call with two unnamed senior administration officials to provide background for reporters on today's transition in Afghanistan handing over the lead on security in the country to the Afghan National Security Forces.

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Let the Sunshine In

It’s high time for the administration to release the bin Laden documents
Jun 10, 2013

In a speech at the National Defense University on May 23, Barack Obama declared an end to the global war on terror. The threat posed by al Qaeda, its affiliates, and those it inspires can be managed, he said. “As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11. .  .  . [I]f dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.”

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Special Operators at Work

Training the Afghan Local Police
May 13, 2013

Undisclosed location in Afghanistan
Meet Captain John (last name not allowed). He’s a bearded, thoughtful, and articulate young Army Green Beret. Since last summer, he’s lived in a tiny, rough compound in the remote village of Shagowlay, in the Qarah Bagh district of Ghazni Province. That’s Nowhere, Afghanistan. 

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