Senate Passes Amendment to Withdraw From Afghanistan at “Steady Pace”

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 2:39 pm

The Senate, in an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, accepted a measure written by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) calling for a continued drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, at a “steady pace” through the end of 2014, and a close to all combat operation “at the earliest date” possible. The news here [...]

Unlikely Support for Faster Drawdown in Afghanistan From John McCain

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 6:15 am

First it was longtime Republican Rep. Bill Young. But I don’t think any political observer would be able to guess who would be the next Republican to consider a quicker timeline in Afghanistan: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday that the United States should reconsider all its options in Afghanistan — including withdrawing more quickly [...]

Prominent Republican Defense Appropriator Turns Against War in Afghanistan

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 6:54 am

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that NATO forces will cease joint patrols with their Afghan counterparts after multiple incidents of Afghan army and police shooting and killing troops, a prominent Republican chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee has flipped on the war, saying that the US should now withdraw as soon as possible. [...]

US Ends Joint Patrols With Afghan Security Forces

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 8:16 am

In a move that calls into question the continuation of the mission in Afghanistan, the US suspended joint military operations with Afghan security forces, after a spate of insider attacks that killed troops in the field. “We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said. So far this [...]

Defense Establishment Starts Bargaining on Trigger Cuts

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 6:21 am

One of the more confusing positions for Democrats in the end-of-the-year “fiscal slope” negotiations concerns where they stand on the defense trigger. Obviously, with Republicans desperate to close these cuts, at least for the first year, Democrats have an opportunity to leverage that into a better deal. However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has undermined that [...]

NATO Agrees to New Timeline for Afghanistan

By: Monday May 21, 2012 12:14 pm

NATO formally announced a new timeline for the winding down of troops in Afghanistan, agreeing to transfer responsibility for security to the Afghans by the summer of 2013, with the withdrawal of most troops timed for the end of 2014. This is a similar timeline to the exit of troops from Iraq, with a transfer [...]

Failed Mission: Bipartisan Congressional Intelligence Leaders Say Taliban Stronger After Afghan Surge

By: Monday May 7, 2012 9:50 am

Another policy that the election of Francois Hollande could shift a bit is the war in Afghanistan. Hollande recommitted today to removing French troops by the end of the year, which Nicolas Sarkozy vowed as well, but only to catch up to Hollande’s position. Last week the President announced in a surprise visit to Afghanistan [...]

Tragedy to Farce: US Military Changes Feng Shui on Bases in Afghanistan

By: Friday March 30, 2012 8:55 am

In a sign of how well things are going in Afghanistan, NATO and US troops are designating guards for any time they come into contact with the Afghan security forces they’re supposed to be training. U.S. and NATO soldiers have been ordered to take extraordinary precautions against being shot by Afghan troops, including designating “guardian [...]

US/Taliban Peace Talks Faltering, With Broad Implications Post-Withdrawal

By: Monday March 26, 2012 10:20 am

The International Crisis Group has a new report out showing that the so-called reconciliation talks with the Taliban are actually going nowhere, and that civil war could result from a US continuing to lead those talks. The think tank believes that responsibility should shifted to the United Nations. In a report released Sunday, the Brussels-based [...]

Karzai’s Double Game: Denounce US Presence, Offer Permanent Bases

By: Monday March 19, 2012 6:17 am

Senior officials tried to assure reporters yesterday that the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan will have no bearing on a post-2014 security arrangement for the US. And to be clear, it shouldn’t. We should get out regardless of that tragedy. It appears that the US is negotiating with two heads of state. There’s the [...]

US Policy in Afghanistan Unraveling After Massacre

By: Thursday March 15, 2012 8:15 am

While demonstrations and protests have been muted, the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier (or soldiers; still no clarity on that) has begun to unravel US policy in the war. The military transferred the soldier to Kuwait, a move that has sparked outrage among the population, who think that justice ought to [...]

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