KABUL, Afghanistan — Sitting cross-legged on the floor of a sparsely decorated Kabul apartment, the young, bubbly woman told me why she lies to her neighbors.
She tells them she’s a nurse when they inquire, as they always do. She leaves the house in civilian clothes and changes into her crisp uniform only when she’s on base. This Afghan woman in her 20s, who asked that her name not be used for her safety, is part of a small, brave group of women serving in Afghanistan’s security forces. If her neighbors found out, she says, they’d surely kill her.
A U.S. citizen was convicted on September 29 of supporting the Al-Qaeda extremist group and participating in a failed suicide bombing that targeted an American military base in Afghanistan in 2009.
U.S. prosecutors said Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 31, was convicted by a federal jury in New York on charges of conspiring to murder Americans, use of a weapon of mass destruction, and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
Taliban fighters boasted that they would “play with the skulls” of dead American soldiers and promised that Afghanistan will remain “the land of Islam and Jihad.” The fighters made the statements in a newly released Taliban propaganda video that promotes a training camp named after one of their leaders who was captured by Afghan forces two years ago.
On the morning of 11 September, Lorena Enebral Perez met with a 21-year-old polio patient at a clinic in northern Afghanistan with a simple, gracious task: to help the wheelchair-bound man to walk.
When she approached him, the patient pulled out a pistol and shot her in the chest.
Perez, 38, was the 10th International Committee of the Red Cross worker killed in Afghanistan since 2001. Seven have now died this year alone, a devastating blow to an organisation known for its ability to work in more conflict zones than perhaps anyone else.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. commander on Wednesday apologized for leaflets dropped in Afghanistan that were deemed offensive to Islam.
The leaflets dropped Monday night, which encouraged Afghans to cooperate with security forces, included an image of a dog carrying the Taliban flag, said Shah Wali Shahid, the deputy governor of Parwan province, north of Kabul. The flag has Islamic verses inscribed on it, and dogs are seen as unclean in much of the Muslim world.
“Local people are very upset with this incident, and they want the perpetrators brought to justice,” Shahid said, adding that demonstrations were expected across the province.
And if he thinks he can intimidate Pakistan, China’s expanding presence in that country says otherwise.
Donald Trump kept us guessing about Afghanistan. Never during his campaign, nor in the first seven months of his presidency, did he give us an inkling of what he thought should be our policy goal in America’s longest-lasting war.
With his August 21 speech, the president charted a path forward. It is now President Trump’s war, whether he wants it or not. The speech, written more from the standpoint of his advisors than his own, made several pronouncements to which the world — especially our adversaries and enemies — will pay great attention.
The president said that we must seek an “honorable and enduring” ending to the war worthy of the sacrifices our soldiers have made.
President Donald Trump addressed the nation Monday night about America’s future in Afghanistan and said that the U.S. will remain in there indefinitely until conditions on the ground change.
The U.S. has been engaged in conflict in Afghanistan ever since 9/11, and just over 2,400 American troops have died in the conflict. Trump has long criticized the war and said Monday night at Fort Myer, Va., that his initial instinct was to “pull out.”
If after 16 years “conditions” have not been achieved I doubt they ever will. Afghanistan won’t be healed.
There is one solution, pull out. In future “WW II” any nation that is found to have supported a terror attack against the west or harbored a group that conducted the attack. Flatten every scrap of infrastructure, everything. Make a Carthage of them.
PS. That was the worst speech Trump has ever given.
As President Trump wrestles with America’s role in Afghanistan, he should first decide what our objectives are today compared to what we wanted immediately after Sept. 11, 2001.
Initially, the United States overthrew the Taliban regime but failed to destroy it completely. Regime supporters, allied tribal forces and opportunistic warlords escaped (or returned) to Pakistan’s frontier regions to establish sanctuaries.
Similarly, while the Taliban’s ouster also forced al-Qaida into exile in Pakistan and elsewhere, al-Qaida nonetheless continued and expanded its terrorist activities. In Iraq and Syria, al-Qaida morphed into the even more virulent ISIS, which is now gaining strength in Afghanistan.
In short, America’s Afghan victories were significant but incomplete.
ISLAMABAD — The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday released an “open letter” to President Donald Trump, reiterating their calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 16 years of war.
In a long and rambling note in English that was sent to journalists by Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, the insurgents said Trump has recognized the errors of his predecessors by seeking a review of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan.
However, Mujahid said Trump should not hand control of the U.S. Afghan policy to the military but rather announce the withdrawal of U.S. forces — and not an increase in troops as the administration has planned.
Several senior members of Islamic State’s central Asian affiliate were killed in a US air strike in Afghanistan, officials said on 13 August.
The attack on 10 August killed Abdul Rahman, identified by the US military as the Kunar provincial emir for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan, according to a statement from the command in Kabul.
“The death of Abdul Rahman deals yet another blow to the senior leadership of ISIS-K,” said General John Nicholson, the senior US commander in Afghanistan.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s controversial proposal to privatize a large portion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan is being met with growing opposition in Kabul and Washington.
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering the proposal as part of his monthslong review of the war in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is locked in a stalemate with the Taliban after 16 years of fighting.