Afghan border

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Getting Out of Afghanistan Will Cost Us Billions

Thanks to geography, it's an 'order of magnitude' harder than Iraq

(Newser) - Fighting a war isn't cheap, and in Afghanistan's case, neither is ending one. The US is set to get everyone out by 2014, but getting everything out will cost billions, says Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. "Combat is still going on. Terrible terrain. Narrow roads. Long way... More »

In Pakistan, Ravaged al-Qaeda Looks to Rebound

Few leaders left, but always new recruits in dangerous region

(Newser) - With the killing of al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi last week, al-Qaeda is down to just eight hardcore leaders in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, down from dozens a few years ago, reports Reuters in a look at the once-formidable group. Finances have dried up, too, and many members of the... More »

Victims of US Strikes in Pakistan: Mostly Militants

But drone critics say covert program still needs greater oversight

(Newser) - The Pakistani public widely believes that American drone strikes there overwhelmingly hit civilians, not militants. However, an investigation of the 10 deadliest attacks over the past 18 months in the main militant region along the Afghan border shows that 70% of those killed were militants, according to an investigation by... More »

Report Blames US in Deadly Pakistan Strike

Report blames lack of trust, mistakes for killing of 24 Pakistanis

(Newser) - A lack of trust between the United States and Pakistan was the key culprit in a series of blunders that resulted in the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26 , reports the Wall Street Journal . US forces made two major errors that day: not informing the Pakistanis that the... More »

Pakistan Boots CIA From Drone-Launch Base

US officials say counter-terrorism strikes to continue from other sites

(Newser) - Furious over the recent NATO airstrike that killed at least 25 Pakistani soldiers , Pakistan has booted the CIA from an important base it had been using to launch drone attacks along the Afghan border, reports the New York Times . Pakistani officials said that, as of yesterday, all US personnel had... More »

Obama Offers Pakistan Prez 'Condolences' After Strike

Stops short of issuing formal apology

(Newser) - In a phone conversation eight days after NATO airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, President Obama today offered "condolences" for the deaths to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, the White House says. Diplomats had encouraged the president to apologize in an effort to soothe strained US-Pakistan relations, but... More »

Pakistan Cleared Deadly Hit: US

Pakistan said it had no forces in area when airstrikes were called

(Newser) - Pakistan officials were unaware they had forces in the area and gave the OK for US airstrikes last week that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, according to the American account of the worst friendly fire killing in the 10-year Afghanistan war, reports the Wall Street Journal . US forces in Afghanistan were... More »

Pakistan: NATO Ignored Our Pleas to Halt Attack

Prime minister sends a warning to US

(Newser) - Tensions are increasing over the NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers Saturday, as Pakistan’s military claimed today that the attack lasted nearly two hours and that NATO ignored its pleas for a ceasefire. Commanders at both bases that were hit contacted NATO while the strikes were under way,... More »

Angry Pakistan Orders US to Vacate Air Base

Pakistan furious over killings, violation of sovereignty

(Newser) - Pakistan reacted to a NATO airstrike that killed up to 28 Pakistani soldiers today by telling the US to evacuate an air base it uses to stage military operations, MSNBC reports. Fuming over the violation of sovereignty, Pakistan also halted convoys of fuel and equipment headed to NATO bases in... More »

Pakistani Shells Kill 42 in Afghanistan

700 families reported displaced, but Karzai keeps quiet: leaders

(Newser) - Pakistani shells fired into Afghanistan in recent weeks have killed 42 and wounded 48, according to angry Afghan officials and elders. “Seven hundred families have been displaced" and women and children are among the dead, says one Afghan general. Pakistan’s media says the shells were fired in pursuit... More »

Pakistan Fires on NATO Helicopters

Two Pakistani soldiers injured in brief firefight

(Newser) - Pakistani ground troops and NATO helicopters exchanged fire this morning, injuring two Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan says it opened fire on the choppers when they crossed into Pakistani air space from Afghanistan, the New York Times reports. But US defense officials tell the Wall Street Journal that they have reports that... More »

6 US Soldiers Killed Near Pakistan Border

Kunar province among Afghanistan's most violent

(Newser) - Six US soldiers were killed during an attack on an insurgent hideout near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, the Washington Post reports. The deaths that resulted from the helicopter-driven assault are the latest reminder of the US struggle in the isolated Kunar province. The US has lately shifted its attention... More »

Afghan Police Officer Kills 6 US Soldiers

Taliban agent opens fire during training exercise

(Newser) - Six US troops were killed today in a deadly betrayal by an Afghan ally, according to NATO officials. The six were participating in a training exercise with members of the Afghan border police when a border police officer opened fire. The shooter was killed in the subsequent gunfight, but his... More »

US Relies on Corrupt 'Afghan Robin Hood'

Abdul Razziq keeps order in ways US can't

(Newser) - Abdul Razziq is illiterate and corrupt. His network skims custom duties, facilitates drug trafficking, and smuggles contraband across the Pakistani border. Yet the 32-year-old is also essential to the war effort, bringing the kind of security to the city of Spin Boldak that has so eluded the US elsewhere. “... More »

1,000th US Military Death in Afghan War

Major Taliban leader reported dead

(Newser) - The US military suffered its 1,000th death in the nearly 9-year-old Afghan war today, according to an AP count, as fighting continued in a remote Eastern region near the Pakistan border for a sixth day. Hundreds of militants have been trying since Sunday to seize control of the Barg-e-Matal... More »

Pakistani Taliban Leader Reported Dead

Army probes reports that drone strike killed Hakimullah Mehsud

(Newser) - The Pakistani army is investigating reports that the leader of the Taliban in the country has died after being injured in an American military drone strike. Hakimullah Mehsud, 28, had been at the helm of the Pakistani Taliban for 5 months, having taken over after the death—also in a... More »

Afghan Tribe to Fight Taliban in Deal for US Aid

US hopes for similar deals throughout Afghanistan

(Newser) - In a groundbreaking pact, an entire Afghan tribe has pledged to join with the US-backed government to fight the Taliban. The 400,000-strong Shinwari tribe, which controls key areas on the Pakistan border, will battle insurgents, burn down homes harboring Taliban fighters, and contribute one military-aged male from each family... More »

Al-Qaeda 'Decimated' in Pakistan: US Officials

(Newser) - CIA-directed air raids into Pakistan have “decimated” al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, killing up to a dozen high-level targets, senior US military officials tell NPR. They say a “complete al-Qaeda defeat” there is now entirely possible. “The enemy is really, really struggling,” says one official. “These... More »

In Afghanistan, Taliban Control the Countryside

As Obama mulls more troops, NATO gaps give insurgents free rein

(Newser) - Barack Obama has signaled that he will send 20,000 to 30,000 new American troops to join NATO forces in Afghanistan. It certainly won't hurt, reports Dexter Filkins in the New York Times. Troops are stretched so thin that, more than 7 years after the initial invasion, the Taliban... More »

Afghan Unrest Idles Pakistani Truckers Supplying NATO

Attacks on Khyber Pass route have drivers demanding a pay increase

(Newser) - Last week’s attacks on American supply lines have Pakistani truck drivers refusing to drive into Afghanistan to resupply NATO troops, the Times of London reports. The route through the Khyber Pass was scheduled to reopen today, but the truckers union is holding out for a significant bump in pay.... More »

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