October 29, 2010

News from the Front: 10/29/2010 - Afghanistan

Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement formally signed by both countries - Pakistan and Afghanistan signed the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement yesterday for boosting bilateral trade and exports. (READ MORE)

US official feels substantial progress has been made in Afghanistan - U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn has said that there has been "substantial progress" in the Afghan campaign. (READ MORE)

NATO chief pledges to uphold Afghan women's rights - NATO will support a political deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban only if it respects the constitutional rights of women, the alliance's secretary-general said on Friday. (READ MORE)

Russia, US collaborate in Afghan drug raid - A Russian news agency is quoting the country's anti-narcotics chief as saying U.S. and Russian special forces have collaborated in raids on drugs labs in Afghanistan, destroying $250 million worth of heroin and morphine. (READ MORE)

More war victims, fewer landmine casualties - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has opened its seventh prosthetic and orthotic centre in Afghanistan to help rehabilitate permanently disabled people, but the man leading the programme says more centres are needed. (READ MORE)

Defense chief confirms Afghan militia in Australia - Afghan militia fighters were secretly flown to Australia to train with its special forces in a contentious new strategy against the Taliban insurgency, Australia's defense chief confirmed Friday. (READ MORE)

Russia may deploy additional drug control officers in Afghanistan - watchdog - Moscow may send additional drug control officers to Afghanistan, the head of Russia's drug watchdog said on Friday. (READ MORE)

Number of Afghan drug labs rises 2.5 times in two years - The number of drug laboratories in Afghanistan has increased by almost 2.5 times in the past two years, a Russian Drug Control Service official said on Friday. (READ MORE)

Saudi Arabia seen edging cautiously into Afghan talks - Saudi Arabia is being drawn into efforts to reach a settlement to the Afghan war, despite its reluctance to become too embroiled with militants it once backed, diplomats and analysts say. (READ MORE)
Nearly 6,000 complaints against Afghan vote - An Afghan election watchdog has registered almost 6,000 complaints following last month’s parliamentary poll, around half of which could affect the final results, an official said Thursday. (READ MORE)

Karzai Delays Dissolution Of Private Security Firms By Two Months - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has offered a concession to Washington over his ban on private security firms, saying the deadline for disbanding the companies in Afghanistan could be extended by two months. (READ MORE)

US not tracking spending on Afghan projects, audit says - The US government has spent about 55 billion dollars on rebuilding in Afghanistan since 2001, but a government watchdog has said that there is confusion about how the money was spent. (READ MORE)

Taliban talks with rival Kurram tribe to access strategic Af-Pak border areas - The Taliban is negotiating a peace deal with the rival Kurram tribe to gain access to remote strategic areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. (READ MORE)

NATO helicopter crew kills 20 Afghan insurgents - NATO says an alliance helicopter crew has killed more than 20 insurgents in southern Afghanistan after the men fired on the aircraft. (READ MORE)

US official set up own Afghan spies - A SENIOR Pentagon official reportedly broke Department of Defense rules and lied to military officials when he set up a network of private contractors to spy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (READ MORE)

Taliban peace talks come to a halt - Efforts to begin a process of reconciliation with the Taliban have completely failed as Washington has refused to give any of the guarantees demanded by the Taliban as a prerequisite to sitting at the negotiation table, a Taliban representative has told Asia Times Online. (READ MORE)

Lewis-McChord pilots get injured NYT photographer from battlefield to hospital - A reserve aircrew stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week lifted a wounded New York Times photographer from Afghanistan to a military hospital in Germany, where he was treated for injuries he suffered when a land mine exploded while he was documenting an Army unit in Kandahar. (READ MORE)

In 2010 Campaign, War is Rarely Mentioned - The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have dominated American foreign policy for the past nine years, but debate about them is all but absent from this year’s midterm election campaigns. (READ MORE)

Real test of Kandahar progress may be in June - President Barack Obama will assess the progress in Afghanistan this December, but a senior NATO commander said whether the coalition’s main offensive in the heart of Taliban territory has had “genuine success” can’t be determined until June. (READ MORE)

Elders Could Fuel Stability in Kandahar, General Says - Elders who fled Taliban intimidation in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province have started to return home and could be catalysts for lasting stability, the commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan said today. (READ MORE)

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