August 13, 2010

News From the Front: 08/13/2010 - Afghanistan

Petraeus hedges on July 2011 Afghan pullback goal - The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan says the goal of starting an American pullback by July 2011 will depend on conditions at the time. (READ MORE)

Showcase Afghan army mission turns into debacle - An ambitious military operation that Afghan officials had expected to be a sign of their growing military capacity instead turned into an embarrassment, with Taliban fighters battering an Afghan battalion in a remote eastern area until NATO sent in French and American rescue teams. (READ MORE)

'Taliban Has Benefited from West's Response in Pakistan' - The floods in Pakistan are devastating and 6 million people need emergency assistance. But donations from the international community have been slow and insufficient. (READ MORE)

U.S. nabs al Qaeda-linked militants in Afghanistan - U.S. and Afghan forces stepped up operations against a Taliban faction linked to al Qaeda, arresting several key figures in the network in raids in two eastern provinces, NATO reported Friday. (READ MORE)

Life in Northern Afghanistan - The British focus in Afghanistan is on the bitter fighting in Helmand in the country's south. But in the north around another 140,000 or so NATO forces comprised of Americans, Germans, Swedes, Finns and others are working as part of the international security force known as ISAF. (READ MORE)

Afghan army offensive goes 'disastrously wrong' - Officials say that the worst of the fighting is now over An Afghan National Army operation - initially run independently of Nato - in the eastern province of Laghman went "disastrously wrong", officials say. (READ MORE)

Need for Afghan progress 'signs' - Signs of progress in Afghanistan are needed within the next two years to convince military coalition partners that success there is possible, Nato's senior civilian representative in the country has said. (READ MORE)

Afghan clerics seek return to strict Islamic law - Afghanistan’s largest gathering of clerics, who met to discuss reconciliation with the Taliban, has called for the revival of strict Islamic law as the country seeks ways to win militants away from a growing insurgency. (READ MORE)

More than Dutch courage in Afghanistan - As the old C-130 Hercules transport plane took off from Tarin Kowt airfield in Uruzgan, I glimpsed a last view of the province that back in 2001 had witnessed the first Pashtun rebellion against the Taliban. (READ MORE)

US army to ask Obama to slow down Afghan withdrawal - The US Army will ask President Barack Obama to slow down the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as they need more time to complete the work there, a media report said. (READ MORE)

Security is biggest challenge ahead of Afghanistan vote - Security will be a key challenge to Afghanistan's parliamentary elections next month, warns the top United Nations envoy in the country. (READ MORE)

Afghanistan money probe hits close to the President - When U.S.-trained agents from an anticorruption task force raided the headquarters of the nation's largest "hawala" money-transfer business, they caught many people by surprise: (READ MORE)

US braces for Kandahar fight - Targeted strikes by U.S. special forces against insurgents around Kandahar are yielding results, but war planners expect tough fighting ahead and more casualties, a U.S. military official said. (READ MORE)

Cleric shot dead in Kunduz - Unidentified armed men gunned down a religious cleric in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province on Thursday. (READ MORE)

Foreigners boost insurgency in eastern Afghanistan - As the spotlight of the Afghan war focuses on the south, insurgent activity is increasing in parts of the east, with Arab and other foreign fighters linked to al-Qaida infiltrating across the rugged mountains with the help of Pakistani militants, Afghan and U.S. officials say. (READ MORE)

Foreigners boost insurgency in eastern Afghanistan - As the spotlight of the Afghan war focuses on the south, insurgent activity is increasing in parts of the east, with Arab and other foreign fighters linked to al-Qaida infiltrating across the rugged mountains with the help of Pakistani militants, Afghan and U.S. officials say. (READ MORE)

Aid group: Fighters not thieves killed 10 workers - A Christian charity group said Thursday that it believes militants, not robbers, killed 10 members of its medical team last week in a remote area of northern Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Insurgent IED Kills Afghan Child in Logar - An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by insurgents killed an Afghan child in the Pul-e 'Alam district of Logar province Wednesday. The child stepped on the IED while he was herding sheep. (READ MORE)

Afghan-Led Forces Detain Several Insurgents in Past Week - Afghan and coalition security forces captured several Haqqani Network and Taliban leaders in Afghanistan this week during 48 separate operations. (READ MORE)

Higher Troop Casualties Likely in Afghanistan - Increased troop casualties in Afghanistan are to be expected this summer, and likely will continue through the fall as U.S. forces ramp up counterinsurgency efforts in anticipation of a drawdown to begin next year, a military official said yesterday. (READ MORE)

NATO Investigating Afghan Civilian Deaths - NATO says it is looking into whether its forces killed or wounded up to seven Afghan civilians during operations in southern Helmand province. (READ MORE)

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