November 1, 2004 |
In the 1990s, Afghanistan was allowed to fall to the Taliban and become the global center for the training, indoctrination and seeding of jihadists around the world - including the mass murderers of 9/11. Last week, just three years after a two-month war that destroyed the Taliban, Afghanistan completed its first free election, choosing as president a pro-American democrat enjoying legitimacy and wide popular support. This represents the single most astonishing geopolitical transformation of the last four years.
July 4, 2004 |
When Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepts the 2004 Liberty Medal in Philadelphia today, his work on rebuilding and unifying the country will be hailed as a "valiant effort. " His main achievement, however, may have been simply staying alive and in power without the full military backup promised by Europe and the United States, analysts and other observers say. Erudite and charming, with a serene temperament like that of Gandhi, the 46-year-old leader has been compelled to lead Afghanistan from inside a bunkerlike presidential palace, protected by U.S. troops.
April 26, 2004 |
Afghan President Hamid Karzai returned yesterday to a Taliban stronghold where he was nearly assassinated 19 months ago, and said he would welcome rank-and-file members of the militia back into society. Karzai said about 150 leaders of the ultra-religious Islamic movement supplanted by his government after a U.S.-led war are unworthy of rehabilitation and could be prosecuted. "But those Taliban who are doing jobs and tilling the fields and working as shopkeepers, we want to welcome those Taliban," he said.
December 17, 2003 |
Afghanistan opened a new highway between Kandahar and Kabul yesterday, one of the first significant signs of progress in the enormous task of rebuilding the country. On smooth new asphalt, the 300-mile trip between the cities takes five hours. It took as much as 30 hours on the old road, which had been ground nearly to dust by Soviet military vehicles and tanks during the 1979-89 Soviet-Afghan war. But the new road is still dangerous because of the threat from bandits and the resurgent Taliban militia.
September 22, 2003 |
Trucks full of steaming asphalt drove past Mike Bois, each load adding a few more feet to the black ribbon advancing across the barren landscape. Bois watched the procession, talking a mile a minute, faster than anyone has driven around here in decades. "We're pulling out all stops, whatever it takes to get this project finished," said Bois, the superintendent of the Louis Berger Group, a New Jersey construction company that is rebuilding the 299-mile highway linking Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, and its second largest city, Kandahar.
July 3, 2002 |
Afghan President Hamid Karzai made strong demands for U.S. military officials yesterday to protect Afghan civilians from mistaken attacks as the Pentagon cautioned it was still too early to draw conclusions about an apparent friendly-fire incident Monday that killed dozens of innocent people, most of them women and children. In issuing their unprecedented protest of the military attack, the leaders of the country's newly minted government, which rose to power with Washington's support, also said yesterday that 40 people - 25 from the same family - had been killed and 100 wounded in the U.S. attack over Uruzgan province that reportedly struck a wedding party.
March 26, 2002 |
U.S. troops will begin training Afghan soldiers to bolster security and guard borders in that still-unstable nation, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday. The training will begin in four to six weeks and be led by 125 to 150 members of the U.S. Army's special forces teams. The Pentagon said the training will start with 10-week courses emphasizing "basic soldier skills. " More complex training involving a range of units - from small groups to battalions comprising several hundred soldiers - will follow.
March 20, 2002 |
President Bush is expected to ask Congress tomorrow for $20 billion to $25 billion more to finance the war against terrorism abroad and at home and for other initiatives, officials said yesterday. About half the money would go to the Defense Department for the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and its efforts to protect U.S. cities, airports and military bases, said the officials. The proposal also is expected to include $5.5 billion to help New York rebuild from the Sept.
February 22, 2002 |
Until lately, Kandahar was a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. The place name is also the title of a scorching movie odyssey, Kandahar, Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf's lyrical lament to disembodiment, exile, and the day-to-day terror of war. In the opening passage of this surreal dirge, prosthetic legs rain from the skies over Afghanistan, replacement parts parachuting down from Red Cross planes to aid thousands who have lost...
February 13, 2002 |
Following the surrender last week of the Taliban's former foreign minister, more than 15 top Taliban officials have begun negotiating with representatives of the new Afghan government to give themselves up, Afghan and U.S. officials said yesterday. Their eventual surrender could provide U.S. forces in Afghanistan with access to the upper echelons of the ousted regime that harbored Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network. "Right now we are in contact with more than 15 top Taliban," Khalid Pashtoon, a senior aide to Kandahar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai, told reporters.