For the first time since an American-led coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001, Afghan officials are engaged in formal talks with Taliban leadership. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani confirmed that members of the Afghan High Peace Council sat down for face-to-face negotiations in Islamabad, Pakistan this week. They were joined by deputy foreign minister Hekmat Karzai. The Taliban did not reveal who their negotiators are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."