Afghanistan & Pakistan

Even as U.S. hands over fight to Afghans, some troops still take fire

For weeks, the fierce duel playing out in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan between U.S. and insurgent artillery crews had been decidedly one-sided – deadly only for the Taliban. With better training and high-tech equipment, the Americans were so fast and accurate with return fire that shooting at them from the mountainsides overlooking their camp was practically suicidal. But a seemingly endless supply of insurgents replaced those they killed. The incoming fire continued. Finally a Taliban rocket found its mark. | 08/26/13 13:42:56 By - By Franz-Stefan Gady and Jay Price

Robert Bales sentenced to life without parole in slaying of Afghans

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales received a life sentence without the possibility parole on Friday for his single-handed massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in March 2012. | 08/23/13 14:42:42 By - Adam Ashton

Bales takes stand at sentencing trial, apologizes for Afghan killings, disgracing Army

In his first remarks in court, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales could not apologize enough for the lives he ruined on the night he slipped out of his combat outpost in Kandahar province and slaughtered 16 civilians in their homes. | 08/22/13 16:51:17 By - Adam Ashton

Graphic photos, testimony shed light on Sgt Bales' actions in Afghan massacre

Army prosecutors did not embellish much as they introduced their case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in a solitary killing spree outside of his combat outpost. | 08/20/13 18:48:39 By - Adam Ashton

A peaceful soccer match ends with an Afghan win over Pakistan

A sniper team peered down from one corner of the bleachers, another perched atop the roof of the VIP area, trucks with machineguns were parked at the stadium gates and hundreds of shield-toting riot police stood between the stands and the field. | 08/20/13 16:55:43 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Al Qaida threatens more violence as Pakistan vows to execute terrorists

Pakistan’s government has brushed aside an al Qaida ultimatum, pledging to carry out the scheduled executions of three convicted terrorists next week. The militants, in turn, warned that proceeding with the executions would unleash a murderous campaign of revenge against politicians of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party. | 08/14/13 17:02:19 By - By Tom Hussain

Obama defends Russia relations, progress on al Qaida, health care law

President Barack Obama said Friday that it was appropriate for the U.S. to “take a pause” and reassess its relationship with Russia, given what he called Cold War-era thinking by President Vladimir Putin. | 08/09/13 19:36:43 By - By Lesley Clark

Pakistani police commanders killed in al Qaida-linked attack

Nearly half the top police commanders in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province were killed Thursday when insurgents shot and killed a police inspector, then bombed his funeral hours later, where most of the province’s police commanders had gathered. At least 30 people were reported dead and 40 wounded. | 08/08/13 15:34:25 By - By Tom Hussain

Months of planning led to Pakistan prison break that freed scores of terrorists

A daring prison break earlier this week during which Pakistani Taliban insurgents freed about 250 of their colleagues was meant to convey that the group is a major threat to national security despite losing swaths of territory, havens and strategic conduits in the northwest tribal areas during military counterterrorist operations this year. | 08/01/13 15:20:53 By - By Tom Hussain

NATO vows better cleanup of unexploded munitions as it closes Afghan bases

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan has agreed to do a better job of cleaning up deadly unexploded munitions from its bases and firing ranges as it closes them down after the U.N. accused the coalition of leaving dangerous explosives behind, a coalition spokesman wrote Wednesday in an emailed statement. | 07/31/13 18:23:44 By - By Jay Price

Wounded Afghan civilians tell how it happened

A new report says the number of Afghan civilians who’d been killed and wounded in the war rose 23 percent in the first half of the year over the same period last year. It was a reversal of a decline that had been recorded last year. Here are the stories of some of the wounded, in their own words. | 07/31/13 18:54:09 By - By Jay Price

Kabul hospital is sad symbol of Afghanistan’s rising civilian toll

Even as the U.S. presence drops on the battlefields of Afghanistan, and with it American casualties, the number of civilian Afghans killed and injured in the conflict is rising, new U.N. numbers show. That’s been especially true for women and children, who’ve been caught in the crossfire as an emboldened Taliban tangles with empowered Afghan security forces. | 07/31/13 17:38:47 By - By Jay Price

McClatchy asks Obama administration if U.S. helped New Zealand collect data on journalist

The McClatchy Co. asked the Obama administration on Tuesday to explain news reports in New Zealand that U.S. intelligence agencies had helped that country’s military track cellular telephone calls made by a New Zealand journalist while he was working for McClatchy in Afghanistan. | 07/30/13 19:40:21 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Pakistani Taliban free dozens of terrorist convicts in daring jail break

Pakistani Taliban insurgents freed as many as 200 terrorist convicts from a fortress-like prison in the northwest city of Dera Ismail Khan early Tuesday in a raid marked by two hours of automatic weapons fire and about 60 grenade explosions. | 07/29/13 23:31:23 By - By Tom Hussain

In Afghan national park, the rare sound of women laughing

For centuries Afghans have believed that the waters of the group of six lakes known as Band-e Amir can cure illness and infertility. Now Band-e Amir also has become the nation’s soothing antidote to the daily horrors elsewhere: improvised bombs, suicide attacks and bribe-hungry police. Partly that’s due to the peacefulness and startling beauty of the remote region, which is tucked away high in the Hindu Kush of central Afghanistan, and partly it’s because four years ago it became Afghanistan’s first national park. | 07/24/13 15:40:41 By - By Jay Price

UN: Unexploded ordnance killing Afghan civilians as U.S.-led coalition abandons bases

The U.S.-led coalition is failing to clear unexploded munitions from the Afghan bases it’s demolishing as it withdraws its combat forces, leaving a deadly legacy that has killed and maimed a growing number of civilians, United Nations demining officials charge. | 07/18/13 18:23:23 By - By Jay Price

Marines’ Afghan open burn pits questioned as incinerators stand idle

A federal watchdog agency says the U.S. military is endangering the health of troops and civilians working at the main Marine Corps base in Afghanistan by burning solid waste in open pits even as two of the base’s four incinerators – built for $11.5 million – go unused and the other two are running below capacity. | 07/17/13 15:58:44 By - By Jay Price

American Muslim chaplain finds new role in ministering to Afghan troops

In many ways, the war in Afghanistan is one of ideas, of narrative, of whose story is credible, says U.S. Army Major Dawud Agbere. | 07/15/13 16:50:03 By - By Jay Price

McCain, Graham, in Afghanistan, voice worry about delay in talks on U.S. troop presence

Quickly rebooting stalled negotiations with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a long-term agreement for a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is crucial to maintaining stability in the war-torn country, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Thursday during an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital . | 07/04/13 14:31:59 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Drone strike in Pakistan kills 17 at Haqqani network compound

A U.S. drone leveled the home of an Afghan militant commander late Tuesday in the northwest Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, killing 17 people in the year’s deadliest strike to date. | 07/03/13 16:21:48 By - By Tom Hussain

Truck bomb kills 7 in Kabul in latest ‘Taliban Tuesday’ attack

For the fourth consecutive week, suicide attackers picked Tuesday to strike in the Afghan capital, this time hitting a logistics company compound on the east side of Kabul with a truck bomb so big that it shattered windows a quarter of a mile away. Five security guards and two truck drivers who were waiting to enter the compound were killed. | 07/02/13 12:55:21 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

U.S. casualties hit 5-year low in Afghanistan as troops’ role turns to advising

The shift to Afghan security forces leading in combat and the ongoing reduction of U.S. troops here have driven American casualties during the first half of 2013 to the lowest level in five years. | 06/30/13 14:00:21 By - By Jay Price

Sharif drops plan to prosecute Musharraf for 1999 Pakistan coup in apparent nod to military

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his first confrontation with the country’s military, may have just blinked. | 06/26/13 16:25:55 By - By Tom Hussain

Musharraf faces 4th death-penalty case as Pakistan names him in Bhutto’s murder

Pakistani investigators Tuesday named former military dictator Pervez Musharraf as the prime suspect in the December 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, raising the tally of capital charges leveled against the once all-powerful army chief over the last week to four. | 06/25/13 17:23:54 By - By Tom Hussain

Taliban attack CIA compound in latest Afghanistan violence

Insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the Kabul offices of the CIA early Tuesday in a coordinated attack in one of the capital’s most heavily fortified neighborhoods, which is also home to Afghanistan’s presidential place and the main headquarters for the U.S.-led international military coalition. | 06/25/13 15:23:45 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

Gun battle near U.S. Embassy in Kabul after suspected Taliban found with fake NATO IDs

Afghan soldiers, presidential guards and members of a CIA security force fought a pitched battle with a small group of insurgents near the presidential palace, the U.S. Embassy and the main NATO headquarters Tuesday morning. | 06/25/13 01:44:21 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

U.S. ambassador says fate of Afghan peace talks unclear

A week after U.S. officials announced the possibility of new peace negotiations with the Taliban, only to see progress collapse almost instantly into acrimony, it’s unclear what the next step might be, said the man who likely would be the top negotiator for the United States. | 06/25/13 15:26:18 By - By Jay Price

Musharraf may face death penalty as Pakistan’s Sharif vows treason trial

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Monday that his government would prosecute former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf on a charge of high treason, which, if he’s convicted, carries an automatic death sentence. | 06/24/13 15:51:48 By - By Tom Hussain

9 tourists murdered in Pakistan hotel

Nine tourists preparing to climb a Himalayan peak in an idyllic region of Pakistan bordering China were murdered at their hotel overnight in the country's worst attack on foreigners in five years. | 06/23/13 13:46:12 By - Tom Hussain

Pa. Senator: ‘We have to be vigilant’ in fight to restrict chemicals used in IEDs

It’s called calcium ammonium nitrate, a substance with a Jekyll and Hyde nature. Used as a crop fertilizer, it helps feed people. But during the war against the Taliban, CAN produced in factories in Pakistan flowed into Afghanistan and became the primary ingredient in improvised explosive devices that killed or maimed hundreds of U.S. service members. | 06/22/13 17:41:11 By - Chris Rosenblum

Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari to escape charges court sought to have reinstated

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari apparently has outlasted a pile of defaming corruption cases instigated against him in the 1990s and will be able to leave office later this year without fear that he’ll face criminal prosecution. | 06/20/13 17:06:10 By - By Tom Hussain

U.S. Afghanistan auditor tells of free-for-all as subcontractors demand money they’re owed

The U.S. government’s primary auditing agency for Afghanistan has found that subcontractors on U.S.-funded projects in that country frequently aren’t paid, resulting in a litany of problems that include delayed and unfinished jobs, death threats to company workers and allegations of corruption among Afghan police and judicial officials. | 06/20/13 16:42:06 By - By Jay Price

Kerry calls Karzai after Afghans bow out of talks with Taliban, U.S.

Less than a day after the Taliban opened a new political office in Qatar, the prospects for peace talks that it represented for war-weary Afghanistan faltered. | 06/19/13 17:45:30 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Afghan peace process in disarray as U.S. prepares to meet with Taliban

U.S. officials will meet with the Taliban on Thursday in a major breakthrough aimed at opening peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan, as the U.S. prepares for the end of its combat involvement. | 06/18/13 19:38:16 By - By Lesley Clark

Afghan forces take over, doubts loom

Afghan security forces are now officially in charge of protecting their country from the insurgents whom the U.S.-led coalition of foreign troops has been fighting here for more than 11 years, President Hamid Karzai announced during a ceremony Tuesday, even as news broke that the Taliban were opening a long-discussed political office in Qatar, clearing a potential path to peace talks. | 06/18/13 15:52:54 By - By Jay Price

Inspired by prayer, Virginia politician starts errant bedsheet drive for troops in Afghanistan

This spring, a local political candidate in Roanoke, Va., started an appeal for bedsheets to help U.S. MASH units in Afghanistan, which had run short and been forced to put wounded troops on ripped, bloodstained linen, she said. | 06/17/13 16:20:38 By - By Jay Price

No money in Pakistan budget for Iranian gas pipeline U.S. opposed

Pakistan’s newly elected government Wednesday unveiled its first budget, which gave the go-ahead for buying two new nuclear power plants from China but made no allocation for a long-proposed natural gas pipeline from Iran that had sparked complaints from the United States. | 06/12/13 17:08:37 By - By Tom Hussain

Pakistani army makes key gains against Taliban militants

Pakistan’s military operations against Taliban insurgents in the country’s northwest tribal areas have reached a turning point with the imminent retaking of a militant stronghold near the legendary Khyber Pass. | 06/11/13 15:38:00 By - By Tom Hussain

2nd Taliban attack in Kabul in 2 days kills 17 outside Afghanistan Supreme Court

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car outside a gate at the Afghan Supreme Court during the afternoon rush hour Tuesday, killing 17 people and wounding 38, all of them civilians, Afghan officials said. | 06/11/13 16:53:14 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif declares end to secret approval of U.S. drone strikes

In office for less than a week, Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, vented his anger Monday at two recent U.S. drone strikes, all but accusing his country’s overbearing military of lying to Pakistanis about its cooperation with the CIA to eliminate terrorism suspects in northwest tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. | 06/10/13 16:25:08 By - By Tom Hussain

In quiet Kabul neighborhood, Taliban attack began with mugging at mosque

A suicide attack that paralyzed a key NATO headquarters at Kabul’s international airport early Monday began, as it turns out, with a mugging outside a mosque. | 06/10/13 15:26:09 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Taliban lay siege to NATO air base in Kabul in early morning assault

Taliban fighters firing from atop an unfinished mansion attacked the military side of Kabul’s international airport early Monday, triggering a gun battle with Afghan security forces that lasted more than four hours before the attackers were killed. | 06/10/13 00:19:15 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has no shortage of problems

Nawaz Sharif was named Pakistan’s prime minister for a record third time Wednesday, and he immediately got down to the nitty-gritty of what arguably is the most daunting job in the democratic world. | 06/05/13 17:50:31 By - By Tom Hussain

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleads guilty to murdering 16 Afghan civilians on Stryker deployment

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales this morning pleaded guilty to murdering 16 Afghan villagers and wounding six more during a nighttime rampage outside of his combat outpost in Kandahar Province last year. | 06/05/13 13:47:14 By - Adam Ashton

In Afghanistan, women denied their inheritance now have a champion

A modest campaign sponsored by the U.S. government has begun tackling one of the most basic problems on the long list that women face here: being robbed of property that they have rightfully inherited. | 06/04/13 15:58:13 By - By Jay Price

Pakistani Taliban says it’ll seek revenge for CIA drone killing of their No. 2

The Pakistani Taliban confirmed Thursday that its deputy chief had been killed by a drone strike and vowed revenge against the government for allegedly providing the terrorist chief’s coordinates to the CIA. | 05/30/13 17:17:56 By - By Tom Hussain

Drone strike kills Pakistani linked to ’09 blast at CIA Afghan base

Missiles from a CIA drone killed a Pakistani Taliban leader Wednesday who was carrying a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, Pakistani security officials said, an indication that the Obama administration and the Pakistani military still are cooperating on the top-secret U.S. targeted killing program. | 05/29/13 18:50:56 By - By Tom Hussain and Jonathan S. Landay

Asif Ali Zardari likely will lose Pakistan’s presidency – and immunity from prosecution

Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, will certainly lose his job in September – and like his predecessor, retired Gen. Pervez Musharraf, he’s likely to face criminal charges under the government of newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. | 05/23/13 16:19:59 By - By Tom Hussain

Delay in mine project shadows hopes for Afghan economy

The giant copper mine that the Afghan government has made the centerpiece of its plans for building an economy nearly from scratch is at least five years behind schedule and the state-owned Chinese company that won the bidding has missed key deadlines in its still-secret contract with the Afghan government and is trying to renegotiate the deal, according to several officials and observers inside and outside the Mining Ministry. | 05/21/13 22:44:01 By - By Jay Price

U.S. commander offers security assurances after Kabul suicide bombing

Two U.S. soldiers and four American civilian security contractors died Thursday when a suicide bomber in a Toyota Corolla rammed into a military convoy in Afghanistan’s capital, security officials said. | 05/16/13 15:53:42 By - By Rezwan Natiq

Nawaz Sharif’s victory in Pakistan elections likely to change nature of U.S. relationship

The victory of Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections will usher in a new period in Pakistan’s relationship with the United States, with Secretary of State John Kerry likely to assume the lead role in relations long dominated by the Pentagon. | 05/13/13 14:29:14 By - By Tom Hussain

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s likely next prime minister, pledges to curb attacks on India

With Pakistanis heading to the polls Saturday, the man who’s expected to be the country’s next prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has signaled his determination to seize control of policy toward longtime foe India from Pakistan’s overbearing military and prevent militants from staging attacks on India from Pakistani soil. | 05/09/13 15:18:31 By - By Tom Hussain

Son of ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani kidnapped in bid to disrupt elections

Suspected militant extremists kidnapped the youngest son of Pakistan’s former prime minister Thursday in the central city of Multan, the latest in a series of attacks aimed at disrupting the campaign for the country’s general election Saturday. | 05/09/13 13:52:10 By - By Tom Hussain

Reputation remake: Tilt-rotor Osprey wins fans in Afghanistan

Almost four years after the MV-22 Osprey arrived in Afghanistan, trailing a reputation as dangerous and hard to maintain, the U.S. Marines Corps finally has had an opportunity to test the controversial hybrid aircraft in real war conditions. The reviews are startlingly positive. | 05/09/13 12:19:26 By - By Jay Price

Pakistan election campaign reflects new faith in democratic process

Pakistanis head to the polls Saturday to elect a new Parliament after five years of bitter disputes with the United States over bases for the Afghan Taliban, U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the covert operation that killed Osama bin Laden. But those topics have been largely ignored in the election campaign. | 05/06/13 15:48:21 By - By Tom Hussain

Drone cargo helicopters prove worth in Afghanistan, leading way to civilian uses

In the fast-growing world of unmanned aircraft, the K-MAX’s success is a significant step toward what’s expected to be a host of new military and civilian roles for cargo drones. Over the past 16 months, two drone helicopters that were sent to Afghanistan as an experiment have delivered 3.2 millions of pounds of cargo across Helmand and flown more than 1,000 missions. | 05/06/13 00:00:00 By -

Pakistani prosecutor who charged Musharraf in Benazir Bhutto slaying is gunned down

A Pakistani state prosecutor leading a federal investigation into the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was gunned down by suspected terrorists Friday as he drove away from his residence in the heart of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. | 05/03/13 15:21:24 By - By Tom Hussain

Audit casts doubt on number of Afghan troops U.S. has trained

Since the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, a signature goal of the war has been to increase Afghan national security forces and give their members the skills to vanquish domestic terrorist groups and other security threats on their own. | 05/03/13 00:00:00 By - By Richard H.P. Sia

Afghan spy chief Asadullah Khalid back in U.S. for medical care

Khalid’s absence – and the scramble to succeed him, should he not be able to return – is likely to hamstring progress on a wide range of issues in which the Afghan intelligence agency and its chief play huge roles, from conflict with Pakistan over border security and Taliban havens in that country to the nascent peace process with the Taliban, which is considered crucial to U.S. plans to withdraw. | 05/02/13 17:09:17 By - By Jay Price and Jonathan S. Landay

Afghan spy chief quietly returns to US for medical treatment

Afghan spy chief quietly returns to US for treatment of wounds from assassination attempt amid rising tensions with Pakistan. | 05/02/13 11:16:27 By - Jonathan S. Landay and Jay Price

Plea deal gets soldier 15 months after he killed comrade in ‘inexcusable’ error

Somehow the punishment doesn’t feel like enough for the fellow soldier who took their son’s life. What’s 15 months in jail compared to a lifetime without Neil Turner? | 05/01/13 15:55:08 By - Adam Ashton

Helmand has become almost dull for Marines, with Afghans now leading combat

For years, U.S. Marines have fought and died in Helmand, a hot, dusty province in Afghanistan’s south that’s earned a bloody place in corps lore, right beside the likes of Anbar province in Iraq. It’s been by far the deadliest province for the U.S-led coalition. But the days of heavy combat and casualties in Helmand are over, at least for conventional American troops. And soon that might be true across Afghanistan. | 05/01/13 16:19:20 By - By Jay Price

As combat role eases, aircraft crashes are biggest killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan

U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan remain at the lowest levels in recent years. The number so far this year, 33, is the lowest at this point since 2008. After air accidents, the next biggest cause of death was improvised bombs, which claimed at least eight service members. | 04/30/13 16:58:29 By - By Jay Price

Karachi is part of Pakistani Taliban plan to bring war to urban centers

A spate of Pakistani Taliban bomb attacks on candidates campaigning for Pakistan’s May 11 general election in the coastal city of Karachi has signaled what people close to al Qaida say is a strategic shift by the country’s militant insurgency from areas bordering Afghanistan to major urban centers. | 04/29/13 17:03:29 By - By Tom Hussain

In test of Pakistani democracy, Pervez Musharraf appears in court

Pervez Musharraf, the 69-year-old former president of Pakistan, surrendered to authorities Friday and was arraigned before a local magistrate on a range of charges that could send him to prison for years. He was the first of the country’s four former military dictators to appear before a civilian court. | 04/19/13 15:35:26 By - By Tom Hussain

Once Pakistan’s strongman, Pervez Musharraf holed up at farm in test of country’s democracy

From October 1999 to February 2008, Pervez Musharraf held unequaled power in Pakistan as the country’s dictatorial president and a key ally in the United States’ war on terror. President George W. Bush was considered a close personal friend. | 04/18/13 15:01:57 By - By Tom Hussain

‘Grandmother of Afghanistan’ Nancy Hatch Dupree says it may be time to move on

Dupree came to Afghanistan in 1962 with her first husband, a U.S. diplomat. She’ll leave, if she can finally make herself do it, as a revered figure. During her decades here, she’s been ejected by the Russians, turned down a request for help from Osama bin Laden, guided countless relief efforts, aided refugees, advised journalists, politicians and the United Nations, and written five travel guides and hundreds of articles on topics including Afghan history, archaeology, women issues and libraries. | 04/18/13 14:55:30 By - By Jay Price

Kerry meets with parents of slain press officer Anne Smedinghoff on return from 10-day trip

Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday with the family of a 25-year-old Foreign Service officer who’d died in a suicide bombing in southern Afghanistan nine days earlier. | 04/15/13 19:41:06 By - By Hannah Allam and Mark Seibel

Witness: Anne Smedinghoff, other Americans killed in Afghan bombing were on foot, lost

A promising young U.S. Foreign Service officer, three American soldiers and a civilian government contractor who were killed Saturday in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan probably wouldn’t have been close to the blast if they hadn’t gotten lost while walking to the school where they were to participate in a book-donation ceremony, according to an Afghan television reporter who was with them and was wounded in the attack. | 04/10/13 16:51:53 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

U.S. secret: CIA collaborated with Pakistan spy agency in drone war

Even as its civilian leaders publicly decried U.S. drone attacks as breaches of sovereignty and international law, Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency secretly worked for years with the CIA on strikes that killed Pakistani insurgent leaders and scores of suspected lower-level fighters, according to classified U.S. intelligence reports. | 04/09/13 16:13:52 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Obama’s drone war kills ‘others,’ not just al Qaida leaders

Contrary to assurances it has deployed U.S. drones only against known senior leaders of al Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified “other” militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area, classified U.S. intelligence reports show. | 04/09/13 23:18:54 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

State Department’s Anne Smedinghoff had left Kabul for book donation event

The young U.S. State Department official who was killed Saturday in a suicide truck bombing in southern Afghanistan had been escorting Afghan journalists from Kabul who were planning to cover American officials donating books to a school, colleagues said in interviews Monday. | 04/08/13 17:50:54 By - By Jay Price

5 Americans killed in Taliban suicide blast; separate attack killed 6th, NATO says

Five Americans were killed when a bomb targeted a convoy in southern Afghanistan on Saturday in the deadliest single combat incident for U.S. citizens this year. | 04/06/13 17:17:54 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

In deadliest attack this year, Taliban storm Afghan courthouse, kill at least 44

Taliban fighters wearing Afghan army uniforms stormed a provincial courthouse in western Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 90 in a complex attack that began with the explosion of a truck bomb followed by an assault in which the attackers took hostages and kicked off a gun battle with Afghan security forces that lasted until late afternoon. | 04/03/13 17:24:54 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts

The Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books. | 04/01/13 11:52:05 By - Adam Ashton

Cyclical nature of Afghan fighting may mask deeper trends, experts warn

NATO troops have followed an annual rhythm in the Afghan War, referred to by Pentagon officials, the soldiers on the ground and journalists alike as the “fighting season.” Generally, they describe it as beginning and ending with the warmer months. The lull is ascribed to snowbound mountain passes. But that common wisdom isn’t exactly true, and may have distorted the real picture of how the war has evolved, one counterinsurgency expert says. He thinks the Taliban have begun hoarding their fighters over the warm months, biding their time until the Americans leave. | 03/18/13 15:32:21 By - By Jay Price

In historic first, Pakistan’s civilian government completes its term without a coup

Pakistan’s Parliament completed its term Saturday and the coalition government was dissolved, the first time in the country’s history that a democratically elected government has served its full five years in office. | 03/16/13 17:18:34 By - By Saeed Shah

Afghan witnesses visit base to prepare for Staff Sgt. Bales' court-martial

Six Afghan civilians who plan to testify at the court-martial for Kandahar massacre suspect Staff Sgt. Robert Bales traveled to Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week to prepare for the trial. | 03/13/13 07:23:18 By - Adam Ashton

As U.S. troops prepare to leave, they rush to teach Afghans to hunt for roadside bombs

Improvised bombs have killed more American troops in Afghanistan than anything else since the war here began 11 years ago, and they’ll remain a favored insurgent weapon against Afghan soldiers, police and civilians after U.S. forces end their combat mission next year. | 03/11/13 00:00:00 By - By Jay Price

Terrorism still plagues Pakistan as civilian government nears end of its term

Five years after democratic rule was restored in Pakistan, the country is still without a policy to confront its huge terrorism problem, leaving this nuclear-armed country vulnerable to ever more punishing bloodshed. | 03/08/13 15:40:29 By - By Saeed Shah

U.S. consolidates Afghan bases with eye toward pulling out

At FOB Apache, U.S. military engineers are frantically finishing a second chow hall and a new, much bigger recreational building. Dozens of tents and rows of housing units are sprouting to prepare for an influx of troops who’ll raise the base’s population from several hundred to a few thousand. The building boom is a quirk of the planned pullout of more than half the U.S. and NATO forces this year. It’s one of the largest of the construction projects under way across Afghanistan, aimed at fine-tuning where troops and their equipment are based in preparation for their final departure next year. | 03/04/13 15:55:13 By - By Jay Price

U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan are at 5-year low

On the eve of the start of the final "fighting season" before the major pullout of American troops from Afghanistan begins, U.S. deaths have fallen to their lowest levels in five years. That decline is ever steeper for international forces: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force suffered its fewest number of troops killed in December, January and February in seven years. | 03/01/13 15:20:54 By - By Jay Price

As Afghan army gets cash to buy its own supplies, some worry about corruption

The Afghan army is one of the least corrupt parts of a society where more than two-thirds of the citizens think it’s fine for bureaucrats to take bribes. Now that reputation is getting its biggest test: access to more money. Billions of dollars more. | 02/15/13 16:25:38 By - By Jay Price

Thriving Afghan zoo’s plans to expand worry its champions

Despite being no larger than a U.S. high school campus, the Kabul Zoo has become one of the most popular leisure attractions in Afghanistan. Now Kabul’s mayor wants to make the zoo much larger, with more animals, more space and more crowd-pleasing species from places such as Africa. Those who helped revive the zoo say that might be a big mistake. | 02/15/13 15:43:24 By - By Jay Price

Maybe a boar isn’t an elephant, but in Afghanistan, it’s a rarity

"Exotic species" are different in Afghanistan. For example, the Kabul Zoo is home to what’s thought to be the nation’s only captive pig, really a massive boar. Pork is haram, or forbidden, in Islam, hence the lack of domestic swine. | 02/15/13 15:41:21 By - By Jay Price

U.S. will reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan by 34,000

President Obama will announce in his State of the Union Address Tuesday night that by this time next year 34,000 troops will have returned to the United States, according to a senior administration official. | 02/12/13 10:18:40 By - Anita Kumar

Afghan peace plan in trouble as Pakistani clerics balk at proposed meeting in Kabul

A portion of a peace plan intended to smooth the way for an exit from Afghanistan of U.S.-led military forces already is in trouble, before it has even gotten underway. | 02/11/13 17:46:20 By - By Saeed Shah

Change of commanders in Afghanistan starts clock on end of U.S. war there

Inside the heavily secured headquarters of the NATO-led forces here, the man who could be the last commander of America’s longest war will officially take charge Sunday of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. | 02/08/13 16:06:16 By - By Jay Price and Matt Schofield

Pakistan Supreme Court again considers military’s secret detentions

A year ago, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the country’s military to produce seven men who’d been held in a secret prison after the civilian terrorism charges against them had collapsed. It was a dramatic scene, as the men, who hadn’t been seen in years, appeared in court – emaciated, ill, with one carrying a colostomy bag. | 02/07/13 15:14:07 By - By Saeed Shah

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani girl shot for wanting to go to school, vows to battle on

The Pakistani schoolgirl whom al Qaida-linked militants shot last year for campaigning for girls education, said Monday that she was prepared to risk her life again for the cause. | 02/04/13 16:39:42 By - By Saeed Shah

Afghan charity sees rejuvenated Scouting program (it’s coed) as way to instill values

PARSA, the group that got the clothes collected by Maryland Boy Scout John Ferry to the cave dwellers of Bamiyan, has worked to revive Scouting in Afghanistan since 2009. | 02/04/13 16:01:04 By - By Jay Price

Afghan girl’s ambition is to teach English

In the cave-dweller’s community called Patokhlama, on a cliff face a few hundred yards east of the niche that once held the smaller of the two Bamiyan Buddhas, is a tiny school built partly into a cave, with a small dynamo of a teacher. | 02/04/13 15:59:58 By - By Jay Price

U.S. soldier and an Eagle Scout team up to help hundreds in Afghanistan caves

All Army Maj. Kenton Barber wanted was to put shoes and maybe a coat on a couple of the barefoot street kids he’d seen standing outside NATO’s downtown Kabul base last winter in the snow. Instead, he and a Boy Scout in Maryland put together an international airlift that brought much-needed winter clothes to hundreds of cave dwellers in western Afghanistan. | 02/04/13 15:58:19 By - By Jay Price

Iran-donated power plants won’t dent Afghans’ energy needs

The Iranian plants can produce electricity at a cost of nearly $1 per kilowatt hour. The American-built Tarakhil plant is much more efficient, at perhaps 23 cents per kilowatt hour. Still, it’s far too expensive to run except for a little while on the coldest days, when Kabul’s demand peaks, or if something goes wrong with the transmission lines from Uzbekistan, which sells Afghanistan power for 7 cents per kilowatt hour. | 01/28/13 14:43:24 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Bales trial may be in 2013 for Afghan deaths

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales could go to trial this year for allegedly murdering 16 Afghan civilians, if Army prosecutors get their way. Or his court martial could be delayed until 2014 or later, if defense attorneys are successful. | 01/17/13 20:11:00 By - Adam Ashton

Pakistan on edge as protesters flood streets, court orders prime minister’s arrest

Pakistan plunged into a political crisis Tuesday after the country’s top court ordered the arrest of the prime minister just as a protest of unprecedented size hit Islamabad, demanding the dismissal of the government. | 01/16/13 11:07:11 By - By Saeed Shah

Rep. Duncan Hunter may seek probe into delay on Medal of Honor for William Swenson

A California congressman said Tuesday that he was considering asking the Pentagon inspector general to investigate why President Barack Obama hasn’t approved the nation’s highest military award for gallantry for a former Army captain whose nomination has been stalled at the White House since last summer. | 01/15/13 19:08:34 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Idaho biologists protect troops, planes in Afghanistan

A week after Boisean George Graves arrived at Bagram Air Force Base, two mortars exploded about 100 yards from his office. This temporary job assignment would be unlike any other in the wildlife biologist’s 27 years with USDA Wildlife Services. | 01/14/13 17:48:53 By - Katy Moeller

U.S. could refuse to leave any troops in Afghanistan

The White House said for the first time Tuesday that it’s possible that no U.S. troops will be left in Afghanistan after 2014. The statement appeared to be a bid to pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai to accept American terms for keeping U.S. forces in his country to train Afghan security forces and prevent a return of al Qaida. | 01/08/13 18:39:29 By - By Lesley Clark and Jonathan S. Landay

Fear spurs new drive for talks with Afghan Taliban

For the last decade, the United States and Afghanistan have viewed Pakistan as part of the problem as they worked to subdue the Afghan insurgency. Yet suddenly the three countries are working together for an Afghan peace, with Pakistan handling one of the trickiest aspects of the effort: bringing the Taliban to the talks. | 12/13/12 17:30:57 By - By Saeed Shah

Pakistan, Afghanistan moving ahead on peace plan that cuts U.S. peace role

Afghanistan and Pakistan are moving ahead quickly with a new Afghan government plan that envisions peace with the Taliban by 2015, holding a summit in Turkey and working with the United States and Britain on streamlining the U.N. terrorist blacklisting system so that Afghan insurgents can be given safe passage for direct negotiations with Kabul. | 12/12/12 20:00:35 By - By Saeed Shah and Jonathan S. Landay

Army says Bales should face death penalty for 'despicable' crimes; defense disagrees

An eight-day hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales wrapped up Tuesday with an Army prosecutor saying Bales should face the death penalty for committing "the worst, most despicable crimes a human being can commit, murdering children in their own homes." | 11/13/12 15:43:47 By - Adam Ashton

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales didn't act alone, attorneys suggest

Defense attorneys for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales mined contradictory statements from Afghan villagers over the past three nights to suggest that more than one American soldier could have been involved in a March massacre that claimed the lives of 16 Afghan civilians. | 11/12/12 14:22:30 By - Adam Ashton

Bales ignored 'We are children!' shouts, Afghan witnesses say

The Afghan children awakened in the dead of night with a terrifying warning: An American soldier was in their village, and he had shot at least one man to death. “He killed my man,” their neighbor’s wife cried as she ran into their home. Sadiqullah, 13, hid behind a curtain. His older brother, Quadratullah, shouted “We are children! We are children!” only to see the soldier shoot his sister. | 11/11/12 21:14:27 By - Adam Ashton

Bales hearing: Afghan teenagers describe attack on their home

Seven Afghan witnesses testified from Afghanistan's Kandahar province in an extraordinary judicial hearing weighing evidence against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians and wounded six more in a nighttime rampage March 11. | 11/10/12 10:27:29 By - Adam Ashton

3rd day of Bales hearing focuses on Afghan village after slayings

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales deployed to Afghanistan in December as a respected and ambitious leader well on his way to a promotion. He left the country four months later as an accused mass murderer who reportedly shot children in the head and left them for dead in an Afghan village. | 11/08/12 14:53:12 By - Adam Ashton

Stryker leaders thought Bales was up to a tough, isolated job in Kandahar

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ leaders in his Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade gave him an especially demanding assignment in Afghanistan last winter because they believed he was among their best soldiers, his company first sergeant said in court today. | 11/07/12 13:32:36 By - Adam Ashton

Bales wanted peers to think well of him in aftermath of Kandahar killings

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales wanted his fellow soldiers at a Special Forces outpost in southern Afghanistan to think well of him even as they sent him away from their base in custody for allegedly killing 16 civilians, witnesses said today. | 11/06/12 14:37:43 By - Adam Ashton

Bales on night of Afghan killings: 'I thought I was doing the right thing'

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ barged into a fellow soldier’s living quarters at 2 a.m. with a confession the soldier remembers clearly: Bales had killed Afghan villagers and had a chilling plan to carry out even more violence that night. | 11/05/12 16:17:20 By - Adam Ashton

Trial opens for Sgt. Robert Bales in Afghanistan killings

For seven months, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Staff Sgt. Robert Bales sat in confinement while the military stayed all but silent about its case against the four-time combat veteran accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime rampage. That silence is about to end as the Army on Monday opens its first public hearing. | 11/04/12 06:00:00 By - Adam Ashton

Two South Florida Muslim clerics want witnesses in terrorism case questioned in Pakistan

Two South Florida Muslim clerics — a father and son separated by more than 50 years in age — are struggling to persuade a Miami federal judge to allow their lawyers to travel to Pakistan to question alleged Taliban sympathizers who might help their defense against terrorism charges. | 10/22/12 07:01:36 By - Jay Weaver

Despite outrage over girl’s shooting, Pakistan still split over confronting Taliban

The horrific shooting of a teenage girl by the Pakistani Taliban to silence her campaign for schooling for girls has forced a battered Pakistan to consider how it can tackle violent extremism after years of equivocation and toleration, analysts and politicians say. | 10/16/12 15:55:19 By - By Saeed Shah

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales awaits hearing on Afghan killings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

For the first time since he was taken into custody seven months ago, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is back at Joint Base Lewis-McChord awaiting a pretrial hearing on charges that he murdered 16 Afghan civilians during his deployment with a local Stryker brigade. | 10/16/12 07:28:47 By - Adam Ashton

Pakistani Taliban call girl’s shooting ‘obligatory,’ saying she spread secular ideas

Doctors treating a 14-year-old girl shot in the head by Islamist militants because she dared to advocate schooling for girls said Wednesday that they hoped she would make a full recovery from her wounds after nightlong surgery to remove the bullet. | 10/10/12 17:42:32 By - By Saeed Shah

The Afghan war: Do the numbers add up to success?

The 33,000 U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan two years ago to stop Taliban advances are back home, with military officials claiming that the surge accomplished its objectives. | 10/09/12 18:26:09 By - By Matthew Schofield

Girl who defied Pakistani Taliban’s as 11-year-old shot in head for ‘promoting Western culture’

A 14-year-old girl who became a national heroine when she protested the Pakistani Taliban’s ban on education for girls in her home district was shot in the head Tuesday as she waited for a ride home from her beloved school, according to officials and witnesses. | 10/09/12 16:16:01 By - By Saeed Shah

Top soldiers reassure troops on Afghanistan insider fears

Three of the Army’s highest-ranking soldiers have gone to remote outposts in one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous districts in the last month to connect with Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers and answer their tough questions about the rising number of insider attacks. | 10/09/12 13:37:15 By - Adam Ashton

Imran Khan’s march against U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan stops short of its goal

A convoy protesting U.S. drone strikes led by Imran Khan, the cricket superstar turned politician, stopped short Sunday of its goal to reach Pakistan’s lawless tribal area after threats of an attack from the Pakistani Taliban. | 10/07/12 16:38:24 By - By Saeed Shah

Pakistan freed of anti-terrorism obligations; U.S. billions flow instead

The Obama administration has refused for the first time to declare that Pakistan is making progress toward ending alleged military support for Islamic militant groups or preventing al Qaida, the Afghan Taliban or other extremists from staging attacks in Afghanistan. | 10/05/12 18:54:52 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Code Pink activists warned of possible terrorist strike against anti-drone rally in Pakistan

U.S. diplomats Friday warned a group of American peace activists not to attend a rally against U.S. missile strikes scheduled for this weekend, saying terrorists have threatened to attack the demonstration. | 10/05/12 15:50:36 By - By Saeed Shah

Soldiers learn insurgent tricks for Afghanistan

The Army calls it Advance Situational Awareness Training. Soldiers spent several days learning subtle schemes that insurgents use to fool and harm friendly forces. Trainers took the ploys directly from intelligence reports describing the enemy’s latest tactics. | 09/26/12 15:42:45 By - Adam Ashton

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s capital kills 12; insurgents cite anti-Islamic video

Nine foreign nationals and their Afghan driver were killed Tuesday when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-packed car into their mini-bus near the Kabul airport, government officials said. Two Afghan bystanders were also killed, said a statement from Afghanistan’s interior ministry. | 09/18/12 10:38:50 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

Afghan soldiers recount 4 U.S. troops’ heroic deaths at Ganjgal

The men received Bronze Stars posthumously for their actions, but the details of what took place before they died on Sept. 8, 2009, when the Taliban ambushed a joint American-Afghan patrol in Afghanistan’s Ganjgal Valley, hadn’t been disclosed. | 09/13/12 15:34:22 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Afghan survivors of Ganjgal battle dispute official account of Medal of Honor feats

Nine Afghan soldiers who survived a 2009 battle that brought the first Medal of Honor to a living Marine since the Vietnam War have disputed the official accounts of how Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer won the country’s highest military decoration. | 09/13/12 15:23:00 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

U.S. will declare Haqqanis a foreign terrorist group, risking Pakistan ties

In a move that risks reopening deep fissures in relations with Pakistan, the Obama administration will designate the deadliest Afghan insurgent group as a foreign terrorist organization, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress Friday. | 09/07/12 19:38:42 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Hannah Allam McClatchy Newspapers

Pakistani girl gets bail on blasphemy charge

A Pakistani court ordered the release on bail Friday of a mentally disabled Christian girl who’d been jailed on blasphemy charges, a decision that brought some sense of justice here but didn’t end the threat the girl faces for allegedly burning pages of the Quran. | 09/07/12 17:26:14 By - By Saeed Shah

Unexpected support for Christian girl in Pakistan blasphemy case may be sign of change

The heart-wrenching tale of a Christian girl charged with blasphemy could, at last, have forced the beginning of a change of attitudes on an incendiary issue that has led to the assassination of two government officials and widespread tensions between the country’s Muslim majority and its tiny Christian minority, officials and analysts now believe. | 09/06/12 17:54:00 By - By Saeed Shah

McClatchy’s Ali Safi wins Dart Center fellowship to study trauma reporting

Ali Safi, a special correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers in Kabul, Afghanistan, has received a fellowship from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, the center announced Wednesday. | 09/05/12 16:58:15 By -

Court upholds Afghan Taliban’s narco-terrorism conviction in U.S.

An appellate court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a former Afghan Taliban member who’s serving a first-of-its-kind life sentence in the Southern California desert. | 09/04/12 16:43:37 By - By Michael Doyle

Suicide bomber rams U.S. vehicle in Pakistan

A bomb injured two Americans employed at U.S. consulate in Peshawar Monday when a suicide attacker rammed their vehicle, officials said. Two local staff members of the mission also were injured. | 09/03/12 16:13:30 By - By Saeed Shah

Suicide bomber rams U.S. vehicle in Pakistan

A bomb injured two Americans employed at the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, along with two local staff, when a suicide attacker rammed their vehicle Monday, officials said. | 09/03/12 07:51:50 By - Saeed Shah

Report: Quran burnings revealed distrust at Afghanistan's Bagram jail

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s top Army police unit went to Afghanistan early this year with ranks of veteran soldiers experienced in running jails in Muslim countries. It incorporated cultural lessons in its training as its soldiers prepared for the nine months they’d spend managing the primary military prison in the war zone. Yet on its first day overseeing the prison at Bagram Airfield, the soldiers in the 42nd Military Police Brigade found themselves at the center of the worst cultural misunderstanding of the 11-year-old war, one that cost the lives of six U.S. service members and 30 Afghans. | 08/31/12 14:27:08 By - Adam Ashton

Neighbors of Pakistani Christian girl in blasphemy case living in fear

The Christians are trickling back to the poor neighborhood in Islamabad that they fled after a blasphemy allegation ignited terror earlier this month. But fear still haunts them. | 08/30/12 19:53:48 By - By Saheed Shah

Afghan minister accused of abuses to become new intelligence chief

An Afghan Cabinet minister dogged by torture allegations is slated to become the new chief of Afghanistan’s notorious intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security. | 08/30/12 17:00:41 By - By Jon Stephenson

Girl in Pakistan blasphemy case said to be minor, boosting chance of acquittal

A Christian girl accused of blasphemy is a juvenile, according to a medical report presented to a Pakistani court, a finding that improves her chance of being released on bail and eventually acquitted of the charges. | 08/28/12 14:45:52 By - By Saeed Shah

Pakistan's conservative mullahs question case of disabled girl charged with blasphemy

A group of Islamic leaders in Pakistan lent strong support Monday to a mentally disabled Christian girl accused of blasphemy in an unprecedented public move that was the first denunciation by hard-line mullahs of the country's controversial blasphemy law. | 08/27/12 17:53:00 By - By Saeed Shah

Taliban kills 17 Afghan villagers — was dancing the reason?

Taliban insurgents killed 17 Afghan civilians Sunday and beheaded as many as 15 of them in the southern province of Helmand, officials said Monday. But the circumstance of their deaths was sharply disputed. | 08/27/12 17:13:24 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

Afghan officials say they broke up terror plot that targeted Parliament

Afghan security forces foiled an insurgent plot to attack Afghanistan’s parliament and the home of one of the country’s leaders, Afghan officials said Sunday. | 08/12/12 19:52:12 By - By Jon Stephenson

3 more coalition dead in another ‘green-on-blue’ attack in Afghanistan

An Afghan believed to be a police officer shot and killed three coalition soldiers late Friday at a military base in the Garmsir district of restive Helmand province, coalition officials confirmed Saturday. | 08/11/12 16:47:08 By - By Jon Stephenson

Uniformed Afghan kills 3 U.S. troops in 3rd such incident this week

Three Americans were killed Friday when a man in an Afghan security force uniform turned his weapon against them, U.S. military officials said. | 08/10/12 15:57:16 By - By Jon Stephenson

Afghan civilian casualties down, but U.N. warns trend not sign of move toward peace

The number of civilians killed or wounded by violence in Afghanistan dropped 15 percent in the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2011, the United Nations reported Wednesday. But U.N. officials cautioned that the decrease ought not to be seen as a sign that Afghanistan was becoming less violent. | 08/08/12 15:32:17 By - By Jon Stephenson

2 U.S. soldiers wounded in thwarted suicide blast in Afghanistan

Two U.S. soldiers and 11 Afghan civilians were injured Tuesday when a suicide truck bomb exploded outside a coalition base in the eastern province of Logar, provincial officials said. | 08/07/12 17:13:07 By - Ali Safi

Questions surround Army captain’s ‘lost’ nomination for Medal of Honor

The 2009 battle of Ganjgal is perhaps the most remarkable of the Afghan war for its extraordinary heroism and deadly incompetence. It produced dozens of casualties, career-killing reprimands and a slew of commendations for valor. They included two Medal of Honor nominations, one for former Army Capt. William Swenson. Yet months after the first living Army officer in some 40 years was put in for the nation’s highest military award for gallantry, his nomination vanished into a bureaucratic black hole. | 08/06/12 16:39:53 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Afghan government forces kill five potential suicide bombers in raid on compound

Afghanistan security forces killed five potential suicide bombers in an early raid on a compound in Kabul after a five-hour gun battle Thursday with Taliban-led insurgents, officials said. | 08/02/12 09:10:57 By - By Ali Safi

After 30 years, Pakistan rolls up welcome mat for Afghan refugees

Pakistan plans to cancel refugee status at the end of this year for the 3 million Afghans who are living in the country, officials have told McClatchy, leaving the refugees facing possible forced resettlement in their homeland, a war-torn country that many of them barely know. | 07/23/12 17:05:32 By - By Saeed Shah

U.N. doctor injured in latest blow to anti-polio campaign in Pakistan

Pakistan’s drive against polio was thrown into disarray Tuesday after a foreign doctor working on a vaccination campaign was shot, a day after the Taliban reiterated a ban on immunization in the country’s tribal areas, officials said. | 07/17/12 17:48:41 By - By Saeed Shah

Suicide blast at a wedding kills lawmaker in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest Saturday at a wedding in the northern Samangan province killing at least 22 people including the bride’s father, a prominent Afghan parliamentarian, officials said. | 07/14/12 10:42:10 By - By Ali Safi

Adil Omar, a young rapper with explosive lyrics, breaks taboos in Pakistan

Adil Omar has struck a chord with educated Pakistani youth who – after five years of Taliban terrorist attacks – are using artistic expression to rebel against the moral policing of their conservative society and being labeled as extremists in the West. | 07/12/12 15:41:00 By - By Tom Hussain

As death toll mounts, coalition insists Afghanistan war is on track

Amid a two-day spate of attacks that killed more than three dozen people, including seven American soldiers, the U.S.-led coalition insisted Monday that the war in Afghanistan is on track and that Afghan security forces will be ready to defend their country when international combat troops withdraw. | 07/09/12 18:59:13 By - By Jon Stephenson

Afghans greet upbeat Clinton remarks with deep skepticism

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painted a positive picture of Afghanistan’s fledgling security forces in a visit Saturday and promised Afghans that the United States would never abandon their country, but several Afghans weary of the U.S. presence expressed doubt. | 07/07/12 20:07:36 By - By Jon Stephenson

Afghan soldier wounds 5 U.S. soldiers in base attack

An Afghan soldier shot and wounded five U.S. soldiers late Tuesday at a base in eastern Afghanistan in what is the latest in a series of “green on blue” attacks by local forces on their coalition counterparts. | 07/04/12 14:35:59 By - By Jon Stephenson

Pakistan to reopen supply routes after U.S. apology for troop deaths

Pakistan agreed Tuesday to reopen supply routes to the U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan after the United States apologized for the first time for inadvertently killing 24 Pakistani troops who were manning two border posts last November, signaling a new attempt by the nominal allies to repair their severely damaged relationship. | 07/03/12 19:41:06 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Afghanistan isn't ready to govern itself, visiting lawmakers say

Afghanistan is far from ready to govern and police itself or defend its jagged borders, several members of that country's legislative branch said on a visit to the California Capitol on Monday. | 07/03/12 06:55:23 By - Stephen Magagnini

Pakistanis say political sideshow distracts from their real problems

At the shabby Waseem Cafe – one of the few places in the heart of the affluent, purpose-built capital of Islamabad where ordinary Pakistanis gather – the mood on a recent afternoon was grim, and patrons were deeply disillusioned with Islamabad’s main business: politics. | 07/02/12 15:38:53 By - By Saeed Shah

'Green on blue' attack in Afghanistan claims 3 coalition soldiers

Three coalition soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan Sunday when a man wearing an Afghan police uniform turned his weapon against them, coalition officials said. | 07/01/12 16:46:55 By - Jon Stephenson

Taliban attack on district near Pakistan border

A key district in the northeastern province of Nuristan bordering Pakistan could fall to insurgents unless urgent steps are taken to improve security there, local officials warned in the wake of a Taliban attack. | 06/30/12 17:13:34 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

At Afghan university, students fear for the future

The Taliban attack last week on a popular resort outside Kabul not only terrified locals and undermined the U.S. and Afghan government narrative that security here is improving. If the views of Kabul University students are any guide, the attack also showed that President Hamid Karzai’s administration is fast losing the confidence of a generation of aspiring professionals critical to rebuilding Afghanistan. | 06/27/12 17:32:01 By - By Jon Stephenson

Rise of Islamist seminaries is latest worry in Islamabad, Pakistan

Islamabad is practically besieged by seminaries run by militant organizations, which house about 24,800 students, mostly from religiously conservative areas of the country. Analysts say that the Pakistani military, which dominates foreign and security policy decisions, has prevented the weak civilian government from acting against the seminaries. | 06/26/12 16:52:33 By - By Tom Hussain

Qargha Lake siege undercuts U.S.-led narrative that Afghanistan war is on track

The handful of insurgents who launched an assault on a resort on Qargha Lake, west of Kabul, provided yet another deadly reminder Friday that security in Afghanistan is hardly as rosy as portrayed by U.S.-led coalition commanders and Pentagon officials in Washington. | 06/22/12 17:54:00 By - By Jon Stephenson

3 coalition soldiers among dozens dead, wounded in Afghanistan attacks

More than two dozen Afghans were killed and dozens more wounded Wednesday in two insurgent attacks in eastern Afghanistan, including an attack in Khost province that also killed three coalition soldiers. | 06/20/12 17:22:27 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

Taliban attacks leave 23 dead in Afghanistan

Twenty-three people have been killed in a spate of violence in southern Afghanistan, including civilians, policemen, insurgents, and a coalition soldier reportedly killed in a “green-on-blue” attack by Afghan policemen. | 06/19/12 09:36:53 By - Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi McClatchy Newspapers

Yousuf Raza Gilani disqualified as prime minister as Pakistan legal battle intensifies

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was dismissed from office Tuesday by the courts, a victim of an intensifying conflict between the government and the judiciary that has plunged the country into fresh political turmoil. | 06/19/12 16:52:52 By - By Saeed Shah

Bomb attack kills 6 in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province

Four police officers and two civilians were killed Monday when Taliban insurgents exploded a remote-controlled bomb in eastern Kapisa province, local officials said. | 06/18/12 12:56:48 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

Judges in Pakistan throw out case of tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain

Attempting to defuse a legal scandal that threatened Pakistan’s judiciary, the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Thursday declared “utterly baseless” charges that the integrity of its chief justice had been compromised by claims that his son had accepted money and gifts from a rich businessman. | 06/14/12 17:21:31 By - By Saeed Shah

Latest intrigue in Pakistan embroils crusading chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry

A new scandal involving a powerful tycoon has embroiled the only public institution in Pakistan that was considered clean: the judiciary. | 06/12/12 18:58:04 By - By Saeed Shah

U.S. - Pakistan supply route negotiations are taking a break, but not stalled

Pentagon Spokesman George Little insists negotiations between Pakistan and the United States over the use of ground routes to supply American and NATO forces have not stalled. | 06/11/12 15:05:19 By - Matthew Schofield

French soldiers killed, wounded in Afghanistan

Four French soldiers were killed and five wounded on Saturday in the eastern province of Kapisa, the French government said. | 06/09/12 10:59:43 By - Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

Villagers in Afghanistan say NATO airstrike killed 18 civilians

A visit to a village that was hit by a NATO airstrike reveals that it’s almost certain that Afghan women, teenagers and children were killed, contrary to NATO claims. | 06/07/12 19:41:19 By - By Ali Safi and Jon Stephenson

Panetta calls for mending U.S.-Pakistan ties as supply talks continue

Money-focused talks to repair broken U.S.-Pakistan ties and reopen NATO supply routes into Afghanistan are taking place in Islamabad this week, officials said, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Wednesday that the relationship between the two countries must be mended. | 06/06/12 18:10:19 By - By Saeed Shah

Suicide bombings in Kandahar, airstrike in Logar mark deadly day in Afghanistan

On the deadliest day in Afghanistan this year, 22 civilians were killed and 50 were wounded Wednesday in two suicide bombings in the restive southern province of Kandahar, while 18 civilians were reported killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in eastern Logar province. | 06/06/12 14:52:33 By - By Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi

U.S.: Al Qaida’s No. 2, Abu Yahya al Libi, killed in Pakistan

U.S. officials on Tuesday confirmed the death in Pakistan of the No. 2 official in al Qaida’s central organization, Abu Yahya al Libi, the latest senior operative killed in the United States’ campaign against the terrorist organization. | 06/05/12 18:33:25 By - By Matthew Schofield and Lesley Clark

Afghanistan withdrawal fuels fears in neighboring Pakistan

The impending withdrawal of U.S.-led NATO combat troops from Afghanistan is raising worries next door in Pakistan, where a growing number of experts are warning that the forces’ departure could reinvigorate a domestic insurgency that Pakistan’s military is barely keeping at bay. | 06/05/12 15:02:35 By - By Tom Hussain

Coalition raid frees 4 aid workers in Afghanistan

Special forces from the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan stormed a mountain hideout in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan early Saturday, freeing four aid workers and killing their captors. | 06/02/12 14:32:25 By - Ali Safi and Jon Stephenson

Army accuses Bales of using steroids, alcohol at base in Kandahar

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who allegedly massacred Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province three months ago now faces charges that he used alcohol and steroids during his deployment. | 06/01/12 15:12:54 By - Adam Ashton

Suicide attacks target police in Afghanistan

A series of Taliban bombings targeted police officers across Afghanistan on Thursday, killing nine officers and a civilian, local officials said. | 05/31/12 16:39:52 By - By Ali Safi

8 civilians killed in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition officials are investigating reports that eight civilians – including six children – were killed when their home in the eastern province of Paktia was bombed on Saturday by a coalition aircraft. | 05/27/12 11:13:19 By - Jon Stephenson

U.S. strategic partnership agreement ratified by Afghan Parliament's lower house

Parliament's lower house on Saturday ratified the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership agreement that was signed in Kabul on May 1 by President Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai. | 05/26/12 15:02:15 By - Jon Stephenson

2 Western health workers kidnapped in northern Afghanistan

The women were working for Medair, a Switzerland-based nongovernmental organization, and were traveling by horseback when they were kidnapped. The company asked that their nationalities not be publicized. | 05/23/12 17:46:38 By - By Jon Stephenson

Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped CIA track bin Laden, sentenced for treason in Pakistan

Dr. Afridi was sentenced in a tribal court under colonial-era laws even though his alleged offense, running a fake vaccination campaign intended to capture DNA from residents of bin Laden’s compound, was committed in Abbottabad, where tribal laws don’t apply. | 05/23/12 16:36:28 By - By Saeed Shah

Voices from Afghanistan: Few expect miracles from NATO

As NATO leaders met Monday in Chicago to discuss the alliance’s exit from Afghanistan and their commitment to the restive nation afterward, Afghans expressed a mixture of optimism, cynicism and fatalism about the future of their country. | 05/21/12 15:42:49 By - By Jon Stephenson

NATO leaders endorse Obama's Afghanistan exit plan

NATO leaders on Monday adopted President Barack Obama’s exit strategy from the nearly 11-year-old U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan, cementing an “irreversible” pullout of foreign combat troops that will leave Afghan security forces with the leading role in combat operations by the summer of 2013. | 05/21/12 19:47:04 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Steven Thomma

Afghanistan toll as NATO leaders gather: 13 dead in suicide bombing Saturday; 2 U.S. troops killed Friday

_ As NATO leaders prepared for a two-day summit in Chicago to plot their armed forces’ exit from Afghanistan in less than two years, a suicide bomber on Saturday detonated his explosive vest at a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province, killing 10 civilians, including two children, and three Afghan policemen. | 05/19/12 17:38:16 By - By Ali Safi and Jon Stephenson

As NATO prepares to meet, Taliban attack reminder of volatility in Afghanistan

Three days ahead of a summit meeting in Chicago of NATO leaders to plot their countries’ departure from Afghanistan, the Taliban on Thursday provided a stark reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. | 05/17/12 14:01:24 By - By Ali Safi

Insurgents storm governor's office in western Afghanistan

Four suspected insurgents stormed the governor’s compound in the capital of western Farah province Thursday morning, killing six policemen and a civilian. | 05/17/12 08:26:56 By - Ali Safi

Survivors recall horror of night Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly shot up Afghan village

The story that Rafiullah and Haji Mohammad Naim told McClatchy is the first public account by survivors in their village of the March night when a man shot and killed 17 people in two Afghan villages. U.S. officials have accused Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales of the massacre. | 05/16/12 16:39:34 By - By Jon Stephenson

Pakistan agrees to reopen NATO supply route to Afghanistan, but for a fee

The cost of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan is about to rise by $365 million annually under an agreement that would reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan that’s been closed for nearly six months. | 05/15/12 18:29:02 By - By Saeed Shah

Key Afghanistan peace envoy, Mawlawi Arsala Rahmani, gunned down in Kabul

Unknown assailants on Sunday shot and killed a senior Afghan peace negotiator, government officials said, in the latest major blow to President Hamid Karzai’s two-year-old effort to negotiate a truce with insurgents. | 05/13/12 15:36:30 By - By Ali Safi

Kidnapped American, Warren Weinstein, pleads for his life in new video

An American aid worker kidnapped last year by al Qaida militants in Pakistan has made an impassioned video appeal to President Barack Obama to save his life. | 05/07/12 15:40:15 By - By Saeed Shah

Osama bin Laden was angry, increasingly irrelevant in final years, letters show

Seventeen letters seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout by the Navy SEALs who found and killed him there last May expose the international terrorist icon in his final years as increasingly irrelevant to his own movement. | 05/03/12 18:07:13 By - By Matthew Schofield

Taliban attack follows Obama’s bid to close Afghanistan war

President Barack Obama sought to use a surprise visit to Afghanistan to start lowering the curtain on the longest war in U.S. history. But as Taliban-led insurgents showed only hours after Obama flew home Wednesday, the bloodletting appears far from over. | 05/02/12 16:46:12 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Ali Safi

Obama speech to the troops at Bagram, Afghanistan

Obama speech to the troops at Bagram, Afghanistan | 05/01/12 19:03:53 By -

Afghan army members prefer light touch of U.S. to Soviets' heavy hand

Soviets shaped the Afghan army that Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hashim remembers from his days as an up-and-coming officer. They tended to give the orders, as if his countrymen were working for the Russians. | 05/01/12 18:11:21 By - Adam Ashton

Fact Sheet: The U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement

In May 2010, in Washington, DC, President Obama and President Karzai committed our two countries to negotiate and conclude a strategic partnership that would provide a framework for our future relationship. On May 1, 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America. | 05/01/12 16:51:51 By -

In Afghanistan, Obama says wars of 9/11 nearing an end

President Obama told Americans Tuesday that after a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, “we can see the light of a new day,” even as he signed an agreement that extended the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. But deadly suicide bombings hours after Obama left underscored Kabul's continued vulnerability. | 05/01/12 20:24:38 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Lesley Clark

Afghan general says 'Americans work side by side' to build Kabul command

Soviets shaped the Afghan army that Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hashim remembers from his days as an up-and-coming officer. They tended to give the orders, as if his countrymen were working for the Russians. The Americans assisting him today use a lighter touch as they aim to restore a different kind of army, he said. | 05/01/12 07:38:34 By - Adam Ashton

A year after bin Laden raid, Pakistan still harboring U.S.’s biggest enemies

A year after Osama bin Laden was found and killed, Pakistan still harbors, willingly or unwillingly, America’s greatest enemies: current al Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri and Afghan insurgent leaders Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Mohammad Omar. | 04/30/12 17:34:38 By - By Saeed Shah

Tacoma VFW post helps family of Robert Bales

Kari Bales and her two young children stayed hidden in plain sight at the Daffodil Parade on April 14. They were among about a dozen people waving at the crowd from a float entered by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 91 in Tacoma. | 04/30/12 07:38:17 By - Christian Hill

Conviction of Pakistan leader roils new democracy

Pakistan was thrown into fresh political turmoil Thursday after the prime minister was convicted of contempt of court. | 04/26/12 16:54:52 By - By Saeed Shah

Despite early cultural mistakes, female soldiers find ways to relate to Afghan women

When Pfc. Renee Buschman was first assigned to reach out to Afghan women to learn about their lives, she fell flat. Buschman wrote a flyer saying she and another female soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord wanted to meet women and talk in the rural villages surrounding their base here in southern Afghanistan. It touched a nerve. The messages offended the villagers they wanted to win over. | 04/25/12 18:12:18 By - Adam Ashton

U.S. and Afghanistan agree on strategic partnership

President Hamid Karza's government announced on Sunday that it has finalized an agreement on a long-term Afghan-U.S strategic partnership. | 04/22/12 16:09:35 By - By Ali Safi

Airliner crashes in Pakistan, killing all 127 aboard

An airliner on a domestic flight crashed Friday near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad with 127 people on board after trying to land in stormy weather, officials and news reports said. | 04/20/12 20:58:54 By - By Saeed Shah

Lewis-McChord unit enters Taliban 'homeground' in Afghanistan

The 3,500 soldiers in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade are taking on new territory in Afghanistan this week, absorbing one of the war’s most challenging corners as they cover more ground than they’ve ever covered on this or their three Iraq combat tours. | 04/20/12 07:22:03 By - Adam Ashton

Afghan insurgents post propaganda videos on latest attacks

Videos and pictures that the Taliban have posted online purportedly show the insurgents who staged this week’s attacks in Kabul and three provinces, with two fighters declaring that the suicide missions were to avenge the inadvertent burning of Qurans and the alleged massacre of villagers by U.S. troops. The material is highly stylized, perhaps indicating that the operations were more for propaganda purposes than military gain. | 04/19/12 16:53:47 By - By Ali Safi and Jonathan S. Landay

In Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed protests $10 million U.S. bounty for his capture

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the Pakistani Islamist leader on whom the United States placed a $10 million bounty earlier this month, filed a court challenge Wednesday demanding that the Pakistani government provide him security and pressure Washington to lift the reward for his capture. | 04/18/12 18:13:44 By - By Saeed Shah

New Afghanistan war photos part of a long, controversial tradition

The photos released Wednesday of U.S. service members posing with fallen enemies in Afghanistan are ‘morally repugnant,’ officials say, but hardly the first to show soldiers behaving badly in wartime. | 04/18/12 17:30:28 By - By Matthew Schofield

Pakistan deports bin Laden’s family to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan early Wednesday was scheduled to deport the 14 members of Osama bin Laden’s family who had lived with him in a garrison town near Islamabad until U.S. forces killed him in a raid in May 2011. | 04/17/12 16:26:01 By - By Tom Hussain

Karzai blames NATO ‘failure’ in Afghanistan attacks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday blamed an “intelligence failure” by his government and NATO for a wave of suicide attacks that Afghan and NATO officials said they suspected were led by a Pakistan-based extremist group. | 04/16/12 17:30:45 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Ali Safi

Taliban attack U.S. embassy and government sites across Afghanistan

Insurgents took over a high-rise building on Sunday and began firing rocket propelled grenades and assault weapons at government buildings and towards the U.S. Embassy. | 04/15/12 06:47:00 By - Jonathan S. Landay and Ali Safi

Taliban lead attacks on U.S. bases and government sites across Afghanistan

Taliban-led insurgents opened a spring offensive Sunday with a wave of coordinated suicide missions, firing at embassies and government offices from seized buildings in Kabul and attacking U.S. bases and police stations in three eastern provinces. | 04/15/12 18:19:27 By - Jonathan S. Landay and Ali Safi

Burhanuddin Rabbani's son named to restart Afghanistan peace efforts

The eldest son of the slain former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was chosen Saturday to replace his father as head of the council charged with overseeing reconciliation with the Taliban-led insurgency. | 04/14/12 14:38:30 By - Ali Safi and Jonathan S. Landay

For Lewis-McChord troops, restoring Afghan sovereignty means locals make decisions

When U.S. forces depart this rural district, home to the tribe of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, they’ll leave behind small monuments to their shifting strategies in 11 years of fighting here. | 04/13/12 07:28:24 By - Adam Ashton

After Himalayan avalanche, many in Pakistan call for patching ties with India

The probable loss of an entire garrison of Pakistani troops to a Himalayan avalanche on the country's disputed border with India has firmed national support for settling the longstanding political disputes between the nuclear-armed neighbors. | 04/12/12 15:10:50 By - Tom Hussain

Karzai says he's considering early presidential election

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that he is considering moving the election for his successor up by a year to avoid complicating the drawdown of U.S.-led NATO forces due to be completed by the end of 2014. | 04/12/12 08:54:00 By - Ali Safi

Confusion reigned in aftermath of Afghanistan massacre

One month after Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly went on a killing spree here in southern Afghanistan, the saying that "the first casualty of war is truth" continues to hold true in the deaths of eight adults and nine children in the villages of Najiban and Alkozai. | 04/11/12 17:18:51 By - Jon Stephenson

Suicide bombings target Afghanistan government offices, kill 19

At least 19 people, most of them police officers, died and dozens of others were injured Tuesday in three suicide attacks on government buildings in western and southern Afghanistan, officials said. | 04/10/12 11:29:48 By - Ali Safi

Lewis-McChord troops escort convoy across hostile Afghanistan terrain

The troops from Joint Base Lewis-McChord rolled out in full force, their armored vehicles protecting a convoy of supplies badly needed by Afghan soldiers stationed across hostile, rugged terrain. | 04/10/12 07:28:41 By - Adam Ashton

Weapons smugglers thrive in chaos of western Pakistan

The P226, a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol made by the weapons manufacturer SIG Sauer, is a favorite of law enforcement agencies and militaries worldwide, from the FBI and Navy SEALs to NATO troops in Afghanistan and police departments across the United States. | 04/09/12 15:10:29 By - Tom Hussain

3 U.S. soldiers among dead in northern Afghanistan

Three American soldiers were among at least nine people who were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber wearing civilian clothes blew himself up in the northwestern Afghan province of Faryab, local officials said. | 04/04/12 11:27:17 By - Ali Safi

Lewis-McChord soldiers in Afghanistan see sudden action

The insurgents didn’t have a chance. Helicopter surveillance spotted them moving to a weapons cache and preparing to bury a powerful homemade bomb. It weighed 45 pounds, and they took turns carrying it. | 04/04/12 08:27:26 By - Adam Ashton

Soldiers at Afghanistan post befriend combat tortoise named Terry

Walking in the dark toward the scene of an Apache helicopter attack against a team of insurgents, Sgt. Dison Ittu looked down and saw something that might help the days go by a little faster on his yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. The tortoise at his feet looked like just the right kind of pal to share with his platoon. | 04/03/12 17:28:21 By - Adam Ashton

U.S. announces $10 million reward for Pakistani militant figure

Pakistan was stung Tuesday by the U.S. State Department's announcement of a $10 million reward for the capture or conviction of the founder of a Pakistani militant group that allegedly carried out the November 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, India's largest city. | 04/03/12 17:03:11 By - Tom Hussain

Only one shooter likely in Kandahar killings, Afghan investigator says

The chief Afghan investigator in last month's slayings of 17 civilians says there's strong evidence that only one killer was involved, a view that puts him at odds with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai. | 04/03/12 16:50:21 By - Jon Stephenson

At southern Afghan outpost, U.S. soldiers prepare for transition

Last year, Taliban threats and buried roadside bombs kept farmers from selling their fruit at marketplaces outside this small community in southern Afghanistan. Similar intimidation stopped residents from sending their children to school or attending their bazaar. | 04/01/12 00:01:40 By - Adam Ashton

Suspect in Afghanistan killings had history of alcohol incidents

Staff Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused in the shooting deaths of 17 Afghan civilians, showed risk factors for alcohol abuse, including acting out violently while drunk, but it's unclear whether the Army knew about this behavior or whether he ever was referred to treatment. | 04/01/12 03:01:01 By - Adam Lynn

Baluchistan separatists in Pakistan beset by divisions

The insurgents' presence is obvious in the mountains and ravines of Pakistan's western Baluchistan province, where hilltops are fortified with slabs of rock to serve as secure lookout posts for snipers. | 03/29/12 17:25:43 By - Tom Hussain

In remote Baluchistan, Pakistan fights a shadowy war

The family of Jalil Reki learned from television news that his body had been found, more than two years after the political activist was allegedly abducted by Pakistani security officials. Scarred by torture and shot through the back of the head, his grisly story is replicated across Pakistan's remote western province of Baluchistan. | 03/29/12 17:20:29 By - Saeed Shah

Drones let U.S. soldiers monitor Afghan terrain

As far as Sgt. Christopher Moore can tell, the threats he and his fellow Stryker soldiers face here are the same they encountered in Iraq: Insurgent networks ferrying fighters and explosives to take hidden shots at American troops. The big difference is terrain. Iraq’s flat deserts are a distant memory. Moore’s new territory spans tall, craggy peaks and remote villages nestled in Afghanistan’s poorest province, Zabul. | 03/28/12 14:42:25 By - Adam Ashton

Big suicide bomb plot allegedly involving Afghan soldiers uncovered in Kabul

Afghan authorities arrested as many as 18 people, including more than a dozen soldiers, after thwarting a major suicide bomb attack in Kabul on Monday, according to Afghan intelligence officials cited Tuesday by local and international media. | 03/27/12 20:36:38 By - By Jon Stephenson

Family of Robert Bales seeks donations for defense fund

The family of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier charged in a bloody rampage in Southern Afghanistan is seeking donations to pay legal costs that some experts expect will run well into the six figures. | 03/27/12 07:27:25 By - Adam Lynn and Christian Hill

Afghan 'allies' kill 3 more soldiers from U.S.-led coalition

Three soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan — two of them British and the nationality of the third unknown — were killed Monday, apparently by members of the Afghan security forces in two separate incidents, the latest in a series of "green on blue" shootings. | 03/26/12 18:42:09 By - Jon Stephenson

U.S.-led talks with Taliban going nowhere, report says

A prominent international think tank has warned that U.S.-led talks with the Taliban are going nowhere and has called for the United Nations to take the lead in peace negotiations to prevent Afghanistan sliding into civil war. | 03/25/12 21:33:58 By - Jon Stephenson

Roadside bomb kills U.S. soldier, eight Afghans in southern Afghanistan

A roadside bomb exploded in Kandahar province on Saturday, killing a U.S. soldier, seven Afghan police officers and an Afghan translator, local officials said. | 03/25/12 21:03:52 By - Ali Safi

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales formally charged in Afghanistan massacre

The U.S. military on Friday formally charged Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with 17 counts of premeditated murder, meaning the 38-year-old soldier could face the death penalty if convicted of a March 11 rampage in southern Afghanistan. | 03/23/12 15:13:35 By - Matt Schofield

Attorney: Bales’ court-martial to be held in Washington state base

John Henry Browne, attorney for the soldier suspected of killing 17 Afghan civilians, told KOMO News Radio this morning he believes staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ court-martial would be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. | 03/23/12 13:09:43 By - Adam Lynn

Staff Sgt. Bales to be charged with 17 murder counts

The American soldier suspected in the bloodiest rampage against civilians in the decade of the Afghan war is expected to be charged Friday with 17 counts of murder. | 03/23/12 06:29:11 By - Matthew Schofield

After Bales' arrest, military tried to delete him from Web

Besides waiting nearly a week before identifying the Army staff sergeant who's accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers, the U.S. military scrubbed its websites of references to his combat service. | 03/21/12 19:07:13 By - David Goldstein and Matthew Schofield

Murder case against U.S. soldier presents challenges for prosecutors

In the United States, a murder case can be pretty straightforward: the victim dies, police collect evidence and use it to pursue suspects. But as U.S. military prosecutors prepare to charge Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in the deaths of 16 Afghan villagers, the challenges they face are certain to make the high-profile case anything but straightforward. | 03/20/12 19:13:36 By - Matthew Schofield

Congress airs differences on when to exit from Afghanistan

Leaders of the House Armed Services Committee differed Tuesday on how quickly to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, while the top commander of forces there said the U.S. campaign remains "on track" despite a spate of recent setbacks. | 03/20/12 17:43:26 By - Rob Hotakainen

Wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales releases statement

Karilyn Bales, the wife of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suspected of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan, released a written statement Monday through the family’s spokesman, Seattle attorney Lance Rosen. | 03/20/12 07:26:56 By - Christian Hill

Military struggles to regulate information on Afghanistan suspect

For nearly a week, the military kept a lid of secrecy over the Army soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers. But as the week wore on, the Defense Department began to lose control of the flow of information about the suspect, and the portrait that emerged was of a soldier who earlier had performed with honor on the battlefield, yet struggled on the homefront. | 03/19/12 14:13:44 By - Hal Bernton

Former Lewis-McChord soldiers weigh in on Bales

Two former Stryker soldiers who've gone on multiple combat deployments and dealt with the trauma that can follow them offer divergent perspectives about whether such experiences could have played a role in Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' alleged massacre of Afghan civilians. | 03/19/12 06:39:54 By - Lewis Kamb

Is Lewis-McChord really 'most troubled base in the military'?

Some have connected the March 11 massacre by a U.S. soldier to other problems at the base: a record number of suicides, several investigations into the treatment of soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a "kill team" convicted of murdering civilians for sport in Afghanistan and a string of other crimes involving present and past soldiers. | 03/18/12 16:09:44 By - Christian Hill and Adam Ashton

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales named as suspect in Afghan massacre

A complex portrait emerged Friday of the suspect in the killings of 16 Afghan civilians: Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was hurt about being passed over for a military promotion, and as a civilian had brushes with the law and spent time in anger management. | 03/16/12 21:35:44 By - By Rob Carson, Debbie Carfazzo and Matthew Schofield

Afghan-massacre suspect Staff Sgt. Robert Bales en route to U.S.

Despite claims by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that one man couldn't have killed 16 villagers, American military officials insisted Friday that Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who was being brought to a military prison in the United States, is the only suspect in a deadly rampage in southern Afghanistan. | 03/16/12 19:28:43 By - Jon Stephenson and Matthew Schofield

Sources: Suspect in Afghan killings identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

A senior U.S. official says the soldier accused in the killing of 16 Afghan civilians is Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation into an incident that has roiled relations with Afghanistan. | 03/16/12 18:52:39 By -

Afghan massacre suspect had been at Lewis-McChord for 10 years

A Seattle attorney defending the Joint Base Lewis-McChord staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan described his client Thursday as a devoted husband and decorated soldier. | 03/16/12 07:06:08 By - Debbie Cafazzo and Adam Lynn

Taliban suspend talks with U.S.; Karzai calls for faster transition

The Taliban suspended negotiations with the United States on Thursday and Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on international troops to withdraw from villages in the latest apparent setbacks to U.S. policy in Afghanistan after an American soldier allegedly killed 16 villagers Sunday. | 03/15/12 10:20:58 By - By Ali Safi

Lewis-McChord could host Afghan massacre suspect's trial

The soldier suspected in Sunday’s killing spree in Afghanistan was flown out of Afghanistan Wednesday, the first major move in a legal process that will be closely watched around the world. There’s a fair chance he will be detained and tried at his home station of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, military law experts said. | 03/15/12 07:09:54 By - Christian Hill

Pentagon officials: 'No smoking gun' in Afghan rampage

As the Army staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 civilians was flown out of Afghanistan, two military officials told McClatchy on Wednesday that investigators combing his medical records had found "no smoking gun" to explain the rampage. | 03/14/12 19:31:38 By - Nancy A. Youssef and Matthew Schofield

As Panetta visits, explosions kill nine in Afghanistan

Eight civilians were killed on Wednesday when their vehicle was hit by a massive roadside bomb in the Marjah district of Helmand province, in Afghanistan, local officials said. | 03/14/12 11:04:53 By - By Jon Stephenson

Insurgents attack Afghan delegation near massacre site

A high-level Afghan delegation came under fire from suspected Taliban insurgents on Tuesday while visiting the site of Sunday's massacre of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier. | 03/13/12 11:00:34 By - By Jon Stephenson

Lewis-McChord soldiers concerned about Afghan massacre fallout

Army Spc. Joshua Pinheiro dropped by a sewing shop Monday near Joint Base Lewis-McChord to get a name tag sewn on his rucksack. | 03/13/12 06:17:33 By - Christian Hill

U.S. soldier to be charged in Afghanistan massacre

Pentagon officials insisted Monday that the weekend's Afghanistan killing spree was an "isolated incident" and said that a 38-year-old Army staff sergeant would soon be charged in connection with the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children. | 03/12/12 18:43:22 By - Matthew Schofield and Nancy A. Youssef

Seeking new trade partners, Iran eyes Pakistan

Iran and Pakistan are negotiating a barter deal in which Pakistan would supply up to 22 million tons of wheat in return for discounted electricity and petroleum products, Pakistani business leaders involved in the talks said. | 03/12/12 15:20:16 By - Tom Hussain

U.S. soldier to be charged in Afghan shooting spree

A 38-year-old Army staff sergeant could be charged as early as today in the killings of 16 Afghan civilians in southern Kandahar province, a U.S. military official said Monday. | 03/12/12 11:08:15 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

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unfinished police station

The U.S. is spending billions of dollars to build facilities for Afghanistan's expanding national police and new garrisons for its army. The program, like much of the wider Afghan reconstruction effort, is faltering.

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