11 Stories

Afghan Army to Soldiers: Cut Ties to Pakistan, or Quit

Afghan National Security Force desperate to root out infiltrators

(Newser) - Afghan military officials have begun ordering soldiers to move any family they have in Pakistan out of the country, or else leave the military, in a desperate attempt to rid their ranks of Taliban infiltrators. While those orders haven't yet been translated into an official nationwide policy, they represent... 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 »

Obama Takes Fight to Pashtuns

New strategy will result in immediate spike in battles

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s new strategy will result in an immediate spike in combat clashes, as the US directly advances on the ethnic Pashtuns in eastern and southern Afghanistan. The first wave of reinforcements is already moving, reports David Wood in Politics Daily, with marines expected to begin landing in the... More »

Musharraf: Don't Abandon Afghanistan Again

Time limits won't work, says former Pakistan leader

(Newser) - Pervez Musharraf comes out of retirement with an op ed piece today, arguing that a time limit on American involvement in Afghanistan is repeating the mistakes that put the country in the hands of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. A political strategy needs to be found that will stabilize the country... More »

More Troops in Afghanistan = Angrier Insurgents

Doesn't US remember how our country began? Or how Vietnam ended?

(Newser) - The United States was born from a nationalist insurgency. “Given that history, you’d think we might be more sensitive to nationalism abroad,” writes Nicholas Kristof. “Yet the most systematic foreign-policy mistake we Americans have made in the post-World War II period has been to underestimate its... More »

Karzai Set Up 800 Fake Poll Sites, Say Diplomats

Ten times as many ballots as voters, say Western officials

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai's supporters set up hundreds of fake polling stations that delivered hundreds of thousands of votes to the Afghan president, even though nobody voted there, diplomats tell the New York Times. The incumbent's team created as many as 800 fake sites, existing only on paper. Karzai allies also occupied... More »

US Still Lacks Translators in Vital Languages

Intelligence, military officials often unable to read texts, emails

(Newser) - Nearly eight years have passed since 9/11, but national security agencies remain disturbingly low on translators for crucial dialects, the Washington Times reports. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives email and text-message each other freely in languages the CIA largely ignored before 2001. "I can't explain it,... More »

Taliban Threaten to Mutilate Afghan Voters

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai's battle for reelection on Thursday is facing a significant hurdle: threats by the Taliban to mutilate anyone who shows up at the polls. Insurgents are strongest in Pashtun regions, normally a Karzai stronghold, and in one town a group of Taliban fighters told citizens anyone who votes will... More »

Al-Qaeda Militants Leaving Pakistan for Yemen, Somalia

Dozens have left, US officials say

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda fighters from Pakistan have started leaving isolated tribal areas and moving far afield to Somalia and Yemen, the New York Times reports. Some US officials point to stepped up drone attacks against militants in Pakistan for the development, which involves relatively small numbers so far. But the growth of... More »

Pakistani Parties Spurn Musharraf, Forge Coalition

Leaders plan to reinstate judges deposed by president

(Newser) - Pakistani opposition parties formed a coalition today that snubbed President Pervez Musharraf. The alliance of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and the late Benazir Bhutto's party will also reinstate the judges deposed by Musharraf last year. Having opposed Musharraf's reelection bid, the judges are also likely to challenge his presidency in court,... More »

Tribesmen Turn on Al-Qaeda

(Newser) - Fifty people, including a group of children stranded aboard a school bus, have been killed in fighting between al-Qaeda terrorists and local tribesmen in one of Pakistan’s lawless regions on the border with Afghanistan. Taliban leaders, who have ties to both groups, are trying to broker a truce, according... More »

11 Stories