International Security Assistance Force

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US, NATO Ceremonially End Afghan Combat Mission

Flag has been lowered but fighting will go on

(Newser) - The US and NATO have ceremonially ended their combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks sparked their invasion of the country to topple the Taliban-led government. NATO's International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, which was in charge of combat operations, lowered its flag today, formally ending... More »

UK Lawmakers Warn of Afghan Civil War

Plan appears to be to 'hope for the best,' committee finds

(Newser) - Afghanistan is in danger of descending into civil war after coalition forces end their frontline role next year, and the UK government's strategy appears to be simply to withdraw and hope for the best, a group of British lawmakers warns. A report from a cross-party defense committee warns that... More »

Top General Emailed Woman in Petraeus Scandal

Pentagon investigating John Allen's links to Jill Kelley

(Newser) - David Petraeus' sex scandal just got a lot bigger. The Pentagon has revealed that it is investigating Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, for allegedly sending "inappropriate communications" to Jill Kelley, Petraeus' other other woman. The FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday, Leon... More »

Chopper Crash Makes 2010 Deadliest Year of Afghan War

Taliban claims responsibility

(Newser) - Nine American troops were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan today, making this year the deadliest one of the conflict for foreign troops, reports NBC . Some 529 foreign fighters have been killed in the country so far, compared to 521 in 2009, the previous deadliest year. The American... More »

Backing Afghan Militias Makes NATO Allies Queasy

Experts worry $1.3B from US won't buy loyalty of local fighters

(Newser) - The US hasn’t given its Western allies the details of its plan to recruit and fund tribal militias to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, fearing, correctly, that they won’t like it, the Guardian reports. The strategy is already under way in 14 areas, with a budget of some... More »

Taliban: Italy Paid Us Protection Money

Italian government denies bribing insurgents to leave its troops alone

(Newser) - The Italian secret services bribed the Taliban not to attack Italian forces in Afghanistan, according to both a Taliban commander and senior officials in the Afghan government. The accusations have sparked fury in France, which lost 10 soldiers in an ambush after taking over a district east of Kabul from... More »

German Officer May Have Misled US Fighters in Civilian Disaster

Gave false info to pilots in Afghan tanker strike

(Newser) - Just before 2am on Sept. 4, German Col. Georg Klein gave a two-word command—"Weapons release!"—and US fighter jets bombed a pair of tanker trucks in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 100 Afghans clustered around them, many of them civilians. Although his tour has ended, the officer is... More »

McChrystal: US 'Will Fail' Without More Afghan Troops

Blunt warnings bared in secret Pentagon report

(Newser) - Afghanistan's top commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal made a blunt request for more troops in a confidential report to the Pentagon last month, warning that without more forces the war "will likely result in failure." The 66-page report, obtained by Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, contains repeated... More »

NATO Probes 'Disastrous' Air Strike; 90 Dead

Horrific injuries reported after fireball engulfs villagers

(Newser) - NATO will conduct a "thorough investigation" into the air strike on two Taliban-hijacked fuel tankers in Afghanistan that killed 90 people today, many of them believed to be civilians, the alliance's secretary general said. An investigation team has already been sent to the area as reports trickle in of... More »

Dozens of Afghan Civilians Killed In NATO Tanker Strike

Blast hit Taliban-hijacked fuel tankers, triggering explosion

(Newser) - At least 90 people were killed in northern Afghanistan today when a NATO air strike hit two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban, setting off a massive explosion. At least 40 of the dead were civilians, said officials. Many more people are injured, and the local hospital in Kunduz province... More »

US to Beef Up Afghanistan Combat Force

Up to 14K fighters swap places with noncombatant troops

(Newser) - The Pentagon will add up to 14,000 combat troops to its Afghanistan force, replacing noncombatant support units with more "trigger-pullers" as casualties continue to climb. With support for the war waning, the Defense Department's "force optimization" plan will not increase the number of US troops, and... More »

McChrystal: US Is Failing in Afghanistan

General wants more Taliban engagement, warns of losing citizens' support

(Newser) - The US military's strategy in Afghanistan is failing, Gen. Stanley McChrystal will tell commanders in Washington today. A copy of the US commander's remarks leaked to the BBC compares the military to a bull charging at a matador—losing strength with each individual cut. McChrystal's report says Afghans are suffering... More »

US Commander: Taliban Winning Afghan War

McChrystal makes protecting civilians his first priority

(Newser) - The Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and the US must quickly change course, warns Stanley McChrystal, the general now commanding American forces in the country. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, McChrystal says he wants more troops in big, dangerous cities like Kandahar as part of... More »

US to Replace Afghan Commander

(Newser) - Gen. David McKiernan will be replaced as chief of NATO’s Afghan mission by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former special ops officer, ABC News reports. McKiernan has held his post for just 11 months, and it is unclear where he will go. The move, to be announced at a... More »

NATO Troops Target Afghan Drug Lords

Troops given green light to attack industry that funds Taliban insurgents

(Newser) - NATO has given its troops permission to go after Afghanistan's drugs labs and opium kingpins, Agence France Presse reports. Some members of the alliance had been wary of targeting the industry, fearful of alienating farmers. But the Afghan government has given its blessing to attacks on the trade that puts... More »

US Wants More NATO Troops for Afghan War

US calls on NATO allies for reinforcements

(Newser) - The US will pressure its NATO allies to commit more troops to Afghanistan, Reuters reports, but won't send more Americans, beyond the 3,200-Marine surge ordered last month. The need for increased manpower in the 6-year-old conflict resurfaced this week when Canada's prime minister threatened to withdraw his nation's 2,... More »

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