March 27, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Eager to overcome a bout of bickering, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a show of unusual unity between their two nations on Monday. The friendly display came as the U.S. military ceded control of its last detention facility in Afghanistan, ending a longstanding irritant in relations. Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul on an unannounced visit amid concerns that Karzai may be jeopardizing progress in the war against extremism with anti-American rhetoric.
March 20, 2013 |
HAWTHORNE, Nev. - A mortar shell explosion killed eight Marines and injured a half-dozen more during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert, prompting the Pentagon to immediately halt the use of some of the weapons worldwide until an investigation can determine their safety, officials said Tuesday. The explosion occurred Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot, a facility used by troops heading overseas, during an exercise involving the Second Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C. Several Marines from the unit were injured in the blast, authorities said.
March 15, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has warned that President Hamid Karzai's harsh public statements against the United States this month could increase the risk of an attack on U.S. forces. Gen. Joseph Dunford sent an e-mail Wednesday to his subordinate generals saying that Karzai's remarks could trigger more "insider attacks," in which disgruntled or radical Afghan troops or police officers turn their weapons on U.S. troops. One such incident in Wardak province this week left two U.S. Special Operations troops dead when an Afghan policeman opened fire.
March 13, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan has killed five American service members, officials said Tuesday. Monday night's crash brought the total number of U.S. troops killed that day to seven, making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces so far this year. Two U.S. special operations forces were gunned down hours earlier in an insider attack by an Afghan policeman in eastern Afghanistan. The NATO military coalition said in a statement that initial reports showed no enemy activity in the area at the time.
March 12, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States in strikingly acerbic terms Sunday, implying that the American military was stoking violence in collusion with the Taliban to justify a prolonged presence and alleging that foreign troops were harassing Afghan university students. The remarks painted an embarrassing picture of discord that marred Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's first foreign trip as Pentagon chief and plunged the tenuous allies into crisis mode at a time when the United States is struggling to wind down the unpopular war in a dignified manner.
March 10, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in the Afghan capital Friday night to take stock of America's winding-down war in Afghanistan, one of the thorniest issues the new Pentagon chief will confront. Just days after weathering a bruising confirmation process, the former Republican senator said he was eager to get a firsthand look at the war zone, speak to commanders and reacquaint himself with Afghanistan's nettlesome president, Hamid Karzai. "We have a lot of big issues and challenges ahead as we prepare for a responsible transition," Hagel said during the flight to Kabul.
March 3, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - International forces accidentally killed two Afghan boys during an operation in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said Saturday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, offered his personal apology and condolences to the boys' family and said the coalition took full responsibility for the deaths. A statement issued by the coalition said the boys were killed Thursday when coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces in the Shahid-e Hasas district of Uruzgan province.
February 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The United States and its NATO allies revealed Friday that they may keep as many as 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after the combat mission ends next year, largely American forces tasked with hunting down remnants of al-Qaeda and helping Afghan forces with their own security. Patience with the 11-year-old war has grown thin in the United States and Europe, yet Washington and its allies feel they cannot pick up and leave without risking a repeat of what happened in Afghanistan after Soviet troops withdrew in 1989: Attention turned elsewhere, the Taliban grabbed power, and al-Qaeda found refuge.