Afghanistan war

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Breitbart Slams Trump 'Flip-Flop' on Afghanistan

Generals talked Trump into changing mind

(Newser) - In what some of his critics on the right saw as a decision as bad as looking at the eclipse without glasses , President Trump announced Monday night that he is going against his "original instinct" and reaffirming the US commitment in Afghanistan instead of pulling troops out. Trump had... More »

Trump: I'm Going Against My 'Original Instinct' in Afghanistan

He originally wanted to withdraw, but says that would repeat mistake of Iraq

(Newser) - President Trump made a rare formal address to the nation Monday night to reaffirm the US commitment in Afghanistan, but he declined to talk about troop numbers or deadlines. Those factors will be based on "conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables," he said, adding that he doesn'... More »

One Factor in Trump's Afghan Decision: Mining Riches

Trump expected to announce increase in troops, also eyes Afghanistan minerals

(Newser) - President Trump formally goes before the nation at 9pm EDT Monday—his first such forum since addressing a joint session of Congress in February—to lay out his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The big expected takeaway: an announcement of an increase in troops with the goal of reversing... More »

White House May Outsource Afghan War to Contractors

Blackwater's Erik Prince floats his plan

(Newser) - President Trump is said to be frustrated with progress in the 16-year-old Afghanistan war, and a familiar name in US military circles is offering an unprecedented solution. Blackwater founder Erik Prince has floated a plan to the White House that it turn over most of its military duties in the... More »

Sources: Trump Lashed Out in Meeting on Afghan War

He suggested firing top US commander because 'we aren't winning'

(Newser) - President Trump isn't happy about the situation in Afghanistan and his proposed solution is one that will be familiar to Celebrity Apprentice viewers, insiders say. Sources tell Reuters that during a July 19 meeting in the White House Situation Room, an angry Trump said military leaders should consider firing... More »

Pentagon Blew $28M on Iffy Afghan Army Uniforms

Watchdog: US shelled out extra for 'forest' camo in land with almost no forest

(Newser) - Just one week after defense chief James Mattis told a Senate panel the US is "not winning in Afghanistan," a new report reveals that the US wasted $28 million on the wrong kind of uniforms for Afghan army soldiers. In 2007, the Pentagon allowed the Afghan defense minister... More »

Up to 5K US Troops May Head to Afghanistan: Officials

Trump still needs to approve new Taliban plan worked up by military, foreign policy advisers

(Newser) - The Trump administration has slowly changed course on initiatives set by former President Obama, and the 15-year war Afghanistan has just been added to the list. The Washington Post reports high-level US military and foreign policy advisers have created a new blueprint for dealing with the Taliban, which would let... More »

Moments Before Death, Army Photographer Took This Image

Spc. Hilda I. Clayton was killed in a training exercise in Afghanistan

(Newser) - It's a jarring image, and that's before learning that the Army photographer who captured it was killed moments later. The photo shows the first instant of a mortar tube explosion during a training exercise in Afghanistan in 2013, a blast that killed 22-year-old Army Spc. Hilda Clayton, reports... More »

ICC: Probe Into American War Crimes May Be Coming

Court says US troops tortured detainees

(Newser) - The International Criminal Court is talking about investigating Americans for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, a move that the State Department considers both unwarranted and inappropriate. The department says that not only is the US not a member of the ICC, it has its own justice system capable of dealing... More »

Afghanistan's Deepening Crisis: Returning Refugees

They face 'vicious cycle of insecurity and joblessness'

(Newser) - Huge numbers of refugees displaced by decades of conflict are flowing back into Afghanistan, but they are returning to a country in crisis where more than a million people have been forced to leave their homes this year. The Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since 2001,... More »

The Pentagon Wants Years-Old Signing Bonuses Back, and Soldiers Aren't Happy

Bureaucracy gone bad

(Newser) - The US military is trying to reclaim signing bonuses and student loan compensation it says it improperly awarded to 9,700 California soldiers during the mid- to late 2000s, at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The LA Times reports that soldiers who served their six-year contracts to... More »

Deer at Brink of Extinction Survives Afghan Conflicts

Bactrian deer were spotted by researchers for the first time in decades in 2013

(Newser) - In Afghanistan—in spite of multiple wars, habitat destruction, and unregulated hunting—one species feared to have gone extinct in the nation has been spotted and may even be staging a comeback: the rare and majestic Bactrian deer. When they were last surveyed in the 1970s, their local numbers were... More »

NPR Photographer Killed in Afghanistan

He's first non-military US journalist killed in 15-year war

(Newser) - NPR is mourning veteran photojournalist David Gilkey, who has become the first American journalist outside the military to be killed in almost 15 years of US involvement in Afghanistan. Gilkey, 50, was killed alongside 38-year-old Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna when their vehicle was hit by shellfire as they traveled in... More »

First US Casualty in Afghan War Worked for CIA

Washington Post fills out story of Green Beret Nathan Chapman

(Newser) - Nathan Ross Chapman has the distinction of being the first American military death of the Afghanistan war, but as the Washington Post reports, there was far more to his story. It turns out that the 31-year-old Army Green Beret also was working with a CIA detail when he was shot... More »

Obama Ditches Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan

More than 5K will remain when he leaves office

(Newser) - President Obama is scrapping a big goal of his presidency—to leave office with only a token force of troops in Afghanistan. Instead, in what the Wall Street Journal calls a "major reversal," Obama has decided to scrap the current withdrawal plan. About 10,000 US troops are... More »

US Troops: We Were Told to Ignore Pedophile Allies

Abuse of boys widespread on Afghanistan bases

(Newser) - American troops in Afghanistan say they were sickened to discover that many of the Afghan allies they worked with sexually abused young boys—and that they were expected to ignore it. Soldiers and Marines tell the New York Times that they were ordered not to intervene even when Afghan commanders... More »

Bomb Blasts May Be Aging Soldiers' Brains

Even if they were far from the blasts

(Newser) - American soldiers exposed to bomb blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering early brain degeneration and aging—even if they were far from detonation, USA Today reports. In all, 256 veterans and service members between the ages of 19 and 62 were analyzed in a study published today in Brain:... More »

Bergdahl: I Was Tortured, Caged for 5 Years

Letter outlines brutal treatment from captors

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl spent his five years as a Taliban captive caged and tortured both physically and psychologically, according to a letter his lawyer released soon after he was charged with desertion . "I was kept in constant isolation during the entire five years, with little to no understanding of time,... More »

With US Gone, Afghans Struggle to Keep Taliban at Bay

1.3K killed between June and November in Helmand province: report

(Newser) - Following the departure of most US forces from Afghanistan, clashes between its security forces and the Taliban have been renewed, with brutal fighting returning to areas that had been comparatively quiet, the New York Times reports. From June to November, some 1,300 members of Afghan security forces were killed... More »

Caterer Fined $389M in Years-Long Pentagon Scam

Supreme Group pleads guilty to $48M fraud

(Newser) - A firm that until last year provided food and water to 130,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan has pleaded guilty to fraud. Supreme Group, according to court papers, "devised and implemented a scheme to overcharge the United States" in an $8.8 billion contract, the Justice Department says in... More »

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