Afghanistan

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Afghan president sees his chance after collapse of U.S.-Taliban talks
FILE PHOTO: Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani gestures during his election campaign rally in Kabul, Afghanistan September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had no more than 20 minutes to study a draft accord between the United States and the Taliban on pulling thousands of U.S. troops out of his country, but upcoming elections could put him back at the heart of talks to end decades of war.

U.N. Security Council overcomes Chinese veto threat to renew Afghanistan mission
FILE PHOTO - The United Nations Security Council meets in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 26, 2019.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed on Tuesday to extend a U.N. political mission in Afghanistan after last-minute talks overcame a Chinese threat to veto if there was no reference to Beijing's global Belt and Road infrastructure project.

Prosecutor can appeal ICC decision blocking Afghan investigation
FILE PHOTO - Public Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda attends the trial for Malian Islamist militant Al-Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud at the ICC (International Criminal Court) in the Hague, the Netherlands July 8,2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/Pool
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court was granted permission on Tuesday to appeal a ruling by judges that blocked an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, a case that has put the court on a collision course with the Trump administration.

Comment: I consider this prosecutor - a top notch professional. She has a history of being very efficient, has an impressive track record and sticks closely to the "facts".
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Suicide bomber, gunmen attack government building in eastern Afghanistan: officials
Smoke rises from a government building which is targeted by gunmen in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Parwiz

Gunmen and at least one suicide bomber attacked a government building in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, wounding nine people including a child and a woman, officials said.

Suicide bomber and gunmen hit eastern Afghanistan gov't office
FILE PHOTO: Members of a Taliban delegation, led by chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (C, front), leave after peace talks with Afghan senior politicians in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

A suicide bomber and gunmen wounded at least nine people, including a child and a woman, in an attack on a government building in eastern Afghan on Wednesday, officials said.

Pakistan PM to urge Trump to restart Afghan peace talks
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks during a rally to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir, in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Naseer Chaudary

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would urge U.S. President Donald Trump next week to revive Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban militant group. Khan is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly while in New York.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Sep 19 2019 - Afghan Farmland Hit by US-Backed Drone Strike, Dozens Killed
Afghan Farmland Hit by US-Backed Drone Strike, Dozens Killed

At least 30 civilians were killed and 40 injured in an air raid conducted by the Afghan security forces, backed by US air support, in Eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday.

The attack, on Wednesday night was aimed at destroying a hideout used by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group militants, but it accidentally targeted farmers near a field in Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district in Nangarhar province, Al-Jazeera reported.

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in Eastern Nangarhar province said a drone strike killed 30 workers in a pine nut field and at least 40 others were injured.

The defense ministry in Kabul confirmed the strike, but refused to share casualty details immediately. Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar confirmed the air strike.

Malik Rahat Gul, a tribal elder in Wazir Tangi, noted that the air raid happened at a time when tired workers, mainly daily wage earners, had gathered near their tent after harvesting pine nuts in a field nearby.

"The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them," Gul added.

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan
Men carry a coffin of one of the victims after a drone strike, in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan September 19, 2019.REUTERS/Parwiz

A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday.

U.S. to withdraw and withhold funds from Afghanistan, blames corruption
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the United States would return about $100 million to the treasury for an energy infrastructure project in Afghanistan and would withhold a further $60 million in planned assistance to the country due to a lack of transparency.

Taliban truck bomb kills at least 20 in southern Afghanistan
Damaged vehicles are seen at the site of a car bomb attack in Qalat, capital of Zabul province, Afghanistan September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

A Taliban truck bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 95 when it exploded near a hospital in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, a provincial official said, with casualties expected to rise as rescuers sift the rubble.

Afghanistan braces for deadly attacks as Taliban vow to disrupt presidential election
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the site of of a blast near an election rally held by President Ashraf Ghani in Parwan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

A deadly suicide bombing this week near an election rally in central Afghanistan where President Ashraf Ghani was due to speak came as a sharp reminder of the risks to a ballot set for the end of next week in the shadow of failed peace talks.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Letter detailing civilian presence failed to prevent deadly Afghan drone strike
FILE PHOTO: Afghans work on a pine nuts field in Jalalabad province October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Parwiz/File Photo
Twelve days ahead of the pine-nut harvest season, the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province received a letter from village elders in the Wazir Tangi area about their plans to recruit 200 laborers and children to pluck the dry fruit.

Afghanistan hospital attack deaths rise to 39, with 140 wounded: Afghan official
A Taliban suicide bombing of a hospital in southern Afghanistan killed 39 people, almost doubling the previous death toll of 20, a provincial governor spokesman said on Friday.

Afghan President Ghani promises to introduce measures to prevent civilian casualties in war against militants
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during an event with Afghan security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 9, 2019. Picture taken September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday promised to introduce measures to prevent civilian casualties in the ongoing war against militants, a day after at least 30 civilians were killed in a U.S. drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province.

Sep 20 2019 - US Withholds $160mln in Afghan Aid
US Withholds $160mln in Afghan Aid

The US State Department is withholding $160 million from Afghanistan, citing corruption and lack of transparency in Kabul over how the funds are used.

Citing “Afghan Government corruption and financial mismanagement”, the State Department said in a statement on Wednesday that it would return $100 million to the Treasury that was slated for a “large energy infrastructure project”, The Hill reported.

It will also withhold $60 million in planned assistance over Kabul’s “failure to meet benchmarks for transparency and accountability” and cease funding the Afghan government’s Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, which develops and oversees anti-corruption efforts.

“Afghan government institutions and leaders must be transparent and accountable to the Afghan people. We stand against those who exploit their positions of power and influence to deprive the Afghan people of the benefits of foreign assistance and a more prosperous future,” the State Department said.

“American taxpayers and the Afghan people can count on the United States to act when we see assistance funds misused,” it added.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Afghanistan's Taliban meets Chinese government in Beijing
A Taliban delegation met China's special representative for Afghanistan in Beijing on Sunday to discuss the group's peace talks with the United States, a spokesman for the Islamist insurgency said.

The meeting comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour cancellation earlier this month of the negotiations between his country and the Taliban, which many had hoped would pave the way to a broader peace deal with the Afghan government and ending a 17-year war.

The Taliban’s nine-member delegation traveled to Beijing and met Deng Xijun, China’s special representative for Afghanistan, said Suhail Shaheen, the Afghan group’s spokesman in Qatar, on his official Twitter account.

Qatar was where the Taliban and the United States held peace talks over the past year.

“The Chinese special representative said the U.S.-Taliban deal is a good framework for the peaceful solution of the Afghan issue and they support it,” Shaheen wrote.

Mullah Baradar, the Taliban delegation’s leader, said they had held a dialogue and reached a “comprehensive deal”, Shaheen tweeted.

“Now, if the U.S. president cannot stay committed to his words and breaks his promise, then he is responsible for any kind of distraction and bloodshed in Afghanistan,” Baradar said, according to Shaheen.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment, sent outside its usual operating hours. Chinese officials in Kabul also did not immediately respond to a messaged request for comment.

Afghanistan will this coming week hold its fourth presidential elections since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban from power in 2001.

Those elections have gained importance since the collapse of the peace talks, as the negotiations could have led to the creation of an interim government, now a more distant prospect.

In June, before the peace talks fell apart, another Taliban team went to China to meet with the government.

At the time, a foreign ministry spokesman said China supports Afghans resolving their problems themselves through talks, and the visit was an important part of China promoting such peace talks.

China’s far western Chinese region of Xinjiang shares a short border with Afghanistan.

China has long worried about links between militant groups and what it says are Islamist extremists operating in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur people, who speak a Turkic language.

China, a close ally of Pakistan, has been deepening its economic and political ties with Kabul and is also using its influence to try to bring the two uneasy neighbors closer.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
At least 35 people at wedding party killed during nearby Afghan army raid
Relatives of a wedding party victims sit outside the emergency hospital gate in Helmand, Afghanistan September 23, 2019, in this still image taken from a video. Reuters TV via REUTERS

Relatives of a wedding party victims sit outside the emergency hospital gate in Helmand, Afghanistan September 23, 2019, in this still image taken from a video. Reuters TV via REUTERS

At least 35 civilians attending a wedding party were killed and 13 people wounded by explosions and gunfire during a raid by Afghan government forces on a nearby militant hideout, two officials in southern Helmand province said on Monday.

The officials said the house being used by the Taliban to train suicide bombers was located adjacent to the bride’s home that came under fire during Sunday night’s attack.

A senior Afghan Defense Ministry official said the raid was against “a foreign terrorist group actively engaged in organizing terrorist attacks”.

“During the operation, a large warehouse of the terrorists’ supplies and equipment was also demolished,” the official said.

A second Afghan Defense Ministry official said a foreign militant detonated a suicide vest that killed him and others around him, including a woman.

“The compound was being used to train men and women who were willing to become suicide bombers, we raided it. We are aware that civilians were injured in the attack,” he said.

Attaullah Afghan, a member of the Helmand provincial council member, said 35 civilians people attending the wedding party near to the attack site in the Khaksar area of Musa Qala district were killed and 13 were injured.

A second provincial council member, Abdul Majid Akhundzadah, said 40 people, all civilians.

The Defense Ministry said the Taliban hideout was also used by foreign nationals working for the hardline Islamist group.

“As a result of a joint operation in Musa Qala district of Helmand, 22 Taliban members were killed and 14 others arrested,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that five Pakistanis and one Bangladeshi national were among those arrested.

Bombing, air strikes and ground clashes between the U.S. backed Afghan forces and hardline Islamist groups have intensified following the collapse of the U.S.-Taliban talks and ahead of the presidential polls next week.

A senior U.S. defense official in Afghanistan said the operation was aimed against al Qaeda fighters but did not give any details about civilian casualties.
Sep 23 2019 - Afghan Anti-Taliban Raid Kills Some 40 Civilians at Wedding Party
Dozens of civilians lost their lives as Afghan government forces accidentally opened fire on a wedding ceremony during a raid
against a nearby Taliban hideout in the Southern province of Helmand.

Sep 21 2019 - Report: Afghan Officials Warned of Civilian Presence in Letter Days Ahead of US Drone Strike
Days before civilians were killed in a US strike, village elders in Afghanistan's Wazir Tangi area reportedly sent a letter to the governor of the country's Eastern Nangarhar province about plans to recruit 200 laborers and kids to help harvest pine nuts.

Comment: The impression I'm getting - these two incidents were "deliberately planned by the Pentagon" to create a high civilian mortality rate, as some kind of justification - to convince Trump to abandon his proposals to reduce American Troops and the military foot-print in Afghanistan? Innocent lives are being "sacrificed" to keep the Pentagon in business. The Power(s) behind the Pentagon have over-ridden Presidential Executive Privilege, granted through Constitutional Law, in determining and executing Foreign Policy and it's War practices.
Even if Trump would invoke "an Emergency Declaration of War" against a foreign State/Country, he's vested to go through a series of Congressional Legislative Protocols before official authorization is granted. There is "no U.S. official Declaration of War" against any Middle Eastern County - so why are thousands of U.S. military personnel in these Countries? Because the Pentagon established "bases" and they have been used as staging grounds for operation (and to by-pass Congressional approval). One of the reasons, Trump wants to downsize and eliminate many of the 800+ military bases around the World. It might be in Trump's best interests (and that of the American people) if Trump would authorize a Military Tribunal and start arresting some of these high ranking Military animals?


https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:10 section:2808 edition:prelim) OR (granuleid:USC-prelim-title10-section2808)&f=treesort&edition=prelim&num=0&jumpTo=true
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Afghan voters defy attacks, delays to vote for president
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah poses as he casts his vote at a polling station in Kabul, Afghanistan September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghans braved the threat of militant attacks and delays at polling booths to vote in a presidential election on Saturday, a major test of the Western-backed Afghan government's ability to protect democracy despite Taliban attempts to derail the polls.

Explosion occurs near polling station in Afghan city of Kandahar
An explosion occurred near a polling station in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Saturday just an hour after voters began queuing to cast their vote to elect a new president.

Taliban worries loom as Afghanistan prepares to vote for a president
An Afghan man loads ballot boxes and other election material on a donkey to be transported to polling stations which are not accessible by road in Shutul, Panjshir province, Afghanistan September 27, 2019.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Millions of Afghans are expected to brave the threat of militant attacks to vote in a presidential election on Saturday, hoping to prevent a repeat of a bitter, fraud-marred and ultimately unresolved poll in 2014.

U.S. ambassador rebukes Afghan president over aid agency criticism
FILE PHOTO: John Bass, United States ambassador to Afghanistan attends a two-day conference on Afghanistan at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 27, 2018.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan rebuked the country's president on Friday for labeling Washington's aid agency "incompetent", escalating tensions between the countries over financial support on the eve of elections.

Numbed by war, generations of Afghans seek solace in voting
FILE PHOTO: Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan Omara Khan Massoudi speaks to the media as then director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor (L) listens, during a preview of the exhibition Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World at the British Museum in London March 1, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan Omara Khan Massoudi speaks to the media as then director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor (L) listens, during a preview of the exhibition "Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World" at the British Museum in London March 1, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

Nearly two decades ago, an Afghan man risked his life to protect the country's prized artefacts by hiding them in the basement of the central bank office in Kabul as Taliban Islamists destroyed the capital's museum.

Omara Khan Masoudi, a former director of the National Museum, witnessed the tumultuous period that led to the Soviet occupation, followed by civil war, the Taliban regime and then the still-continuing U.S.-backed war against the insurgents.

Masoudi, 71, achieved success as a custodian of Afghanistan’s historical relics but he feels anguish just before a presidential election. Leaders have failed to be guardians and defenders of the national interest, he said.

“An election is one of the main exercise of a democratic system but it has lost its meaning in Afghanistan,” Masoudi said at his residence.

Decades of war destroyed people’s lives and holding elections despite the violence is a reminder of Afghans’ ability to withstand adversity, Masoudi said.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Taliban, U.S. envoy in Pakistan to review broken peace talks
FILE PHOTO: Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar sits in a car after the end of peace talks with Afghan senior politicians in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

October 2, 2019 - Afghan Taliban officials were due in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of reviving talks for a political settlement in Afghanistan, Pakistan's foreign ministry and the insurgent group said.

The high-profile Taliban delegation was arriving as the top U.S. diplomat involved in talks with the militants, Zalmay Khalilzad, also met government officials in Islamabad.

It was not clear if the Taliban would meet Khalilzad, though one senior Pakistani government official said that might happen.

The Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group’s founders, was due to discuss “important issues” with Pakistani officials, spokesman Suhail Shaheen said.

The visit, the latest stop on a tour of regional powers including Russia, China and Iran by Taliban officials, comes after efforts by the militants and the United States to reach a deal allowing for the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces broke down last month.

“The visit would provide the opportunity to review the progress made under U.S.-Taliban peace talks so far, and discuss the possibilities of resuming the paused political settlement process in Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. It said a meeting between the insurgents and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was being finalized.

Khalilzad, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, has been meeting Pakistani officials in Islamabad following discussions between Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the United States.

“These consultations follow discussions held between the United States and Pakistan during the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad via email.


The spokesman did not say if Khalilzad was still in Pakistan on Wednesday or if he planned to meet the Taliban officials. A top Pakistan government official told Reuters that the Taliban would likely meet Khan, and that, “we’re trying that we will convince the Taliban that the delegation also meets Zalmay Khalilzad”.

The official said the meetings would focus on attempting to convince the Taliban to include the Afghan government in the peace talks. The insurgents have previously refused to negotiate with what they call an illegitimate “puppet” regime in Kabul.

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said on Twitter that the Afghan government should be involved in any peace process.

“No progress will be imminent if a peace process is not owned and led by the Afghan government, he said.

Progress on Peace?
The United States has long considered Pakistani cooperation crucial to efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.

Trump last month halted the talks with the Taliban, aimed at striking a deal allowing U.S. and other foreign troops to withdraw in exchange for Taliban security guarantees, following the death of a U.S. solder and 11 others in a Taliban bomb attack in Kabul.

The Taliban delegation would inform Pakistan’s leadership of the factors that derailed the talks, said a Taliban official who declined to be identified. The Taliban also planned to follow up on Khan’s recent comment that he would try to convince Trump to resume the talks, the Taliban official said.

Baradar, the head of the delegation, was making his first known visit to Pakistan since he was released from a Pakistani jail a year ago.

Previously the coordinator of the group’s military operations in southern Afghanistan, he was arrested in 2010 by a team from Pakistani and U.S. intelligence agencies.

The U.S. and Taliban said last month, shortly before talks broke off, that they were close to reaching a deal, despite concerns among some U.S. security officials and within the Afghan government that a U.S. withdrawal could plunge the country into even more conflict and open the way for a resurgence of Islamist militant factions.
Pakistan and Taliban call for U.S. to resume Afghan peace talks
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomes Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is leading Taliban Political Commission (TPC) delegation, upon his arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan October 3, 2019. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)/ Handout via REUTERS

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomes Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is leading Taliban Political Commission (TPC) delegation, upon his arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan October 3, 2019. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)/ Handout via REUTERS

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR - Peace talks in Afghanistan must resume as soon as possible, Pakistan and the Taliban militant group urged on Thursday, after President Donald Trump broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

The United States has long considered Pakistan’s cooperation crucial to efforts to end the war in Afghanistan. “It was emphasized that reduction of violence by all parties to the conflict was necessary,” the ministry said, adding that such a step would help to speed resumption of the peace effort.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Blasts collapse roof at Afghan mosque, killing at least 62 at Friday prayers
KABUL Oct. 18, 2019 - Multiple explosions at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan collapsed the roof on worshippers during Friday prayers, killing at least 62 and wounding more than 100, officials said.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for Nangarhar province’s governor, said bombs had been placed inside the mosque in the Jawdara area of Haska Mena district.

“People using an excavator are still working to bring out the bodies and injured from under the roof,”
said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, adding that the death toll was likely to rise.

Malik Mohammadi Gul Shinwari, a tribal elder from the area, said that the mosque had been destroyed.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but the government accused Taliban insurgents, who are fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by U.S.-led forces.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the presidential palace, condemned what he said was a suicide bomb attack. “The Taliban and their partners’ heinous crimes continue to target civilians at the time of worship,” Sediqqi added.

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied responsibility.

“All witnesses say it was a mortar attack by Kabul Adm.(Administration) forces,” he said in a tweet.

The Taliban and Islamic State fighters are actively operating in parts of Nangarhar which shares a border with Pakistan in the east.

In western Herat province, six civilians were killed and five wounded when their vehicle was hit by roadside bomb, Jailani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said. Women and children are among the victims, Farhad added.

A U.N. report recorded 4,313 civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the past three months.

Slideshow (3 Images)
Blasts collapse roof at Afghan mosque, killing at least 62 at Friday prayers

Oct 18 2019 - Blasts in Afghanistan Mosque Kill Scores of Worshippers
Blasts in Afghanistan Mosque Kill Scores of Worshippers

Scores of people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded by several blasts in a mosque in Eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, according to local officials.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar's governor, said at least 62 people had been killed by the explosions, which rocked the building in the province's Haska Mena district during Friday prayers, Al-Jazeera reported.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, told Reuters news agency that more than 100 others had been wounded in the incident and the death toll was likely to increase.

"The number of casualties may rise as the rescue team and people are working to bring out the bodies from the rubble," Qaderi said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, which took place a day after the United Nations announced violence in the country had reached "unacceptable" levels.

The figures - 1,174 deaths and 3,139 wounded from July 1 until September 30 this year - represent a 42 percent increase over the same period last year. More than 40 percent of the casualties were women and children.

The UN laid the blame mainly at the feet of "anti-government elements" such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group and the Taliban, though it also documented an alarming rise in casualties caused by pro-government forces.

Both ISIL and the Taliban are active in Nangarhar province, with Afghan security forces struggling to battle both groups after the United States and NATO officially concluded their combat mission in the country four years ago.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
October 20, 2019 - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

US defense chief in Afghanistan to assess the way ahead

October 20, 2019 - Defense Secretary Mark Esper believes the US can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group. (AP)

Pompeo says U.S. committed to Afghan peace after deadly explosions
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs media at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019.   Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Oct. 19, 2019 - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday Washington remained committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan as police searched for bodies in the rubble of a mosque in eastern Nangarhar province where bomb blasts killed at least 69 people.

EU calls for Afghanistan cease-fire

October 20, 2019 - EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia was at a press conference in Kabul on Sunday. (File/AFP)

KABUL: European Union officials called Sunday for a cease-fire in Afghanistan, saying the breakdown in talks between the US and the Taliban presented an opportunity to push anew for a truce.

Roland Kobia, the EU ambassador to Afghanistan, said the talks’ collapse provided a chance to push for a cease-fire which would, in turn, prove a large enough change in Afghanistan for Trump to consider resuming negotiations.

“It’s the right moment and the right opportunity to maybe go one step beyond a simple reduction in violence and explore ways in which a cease-fire ... will take place,” Kobia told Kabul journalists.

“The idea is really to see how we can move the cease-fire idea forward instead of leaving it for later. ... There is an opportunity here today.”

When asked how the EU, which has only a limited footprint in Afghanistan, could leverage a cease-fire, Kobia suggested that the Taliban might return to power in “one form or another” within months so would entertain a truce to help normalize future relations with the European bloc.

“A cease-fire would be a token, a guarantee of goodwill and good preparation for the normalization of these relationships,” Kobia said.

The Taliban, for its part, has steadfastly ruled out an immediate cease-fire but last year downed weapons for a three-day truce.
Afghanistan is currently in an uneasy waiting period following the first round of presidential elections on September 28.

Results were supposed to be released Saturday but have been indefinitely delayed due to “technical issues,” the Independent Election Commission said.

Pierre Mayaudon, head of the EU delegation in Afghanistan, said a delay of a few days to finalize results was legitimate to ensure votes were fairly counted.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 20, 2019. Pictures taken October 20, 2019. Afghan Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

U.S. Defense Secretary Esper affirms 'longstanding commitment' to Afghanistan
FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 20, 2019. Picture taken October 20, 2019. Afghan Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that while the United States did not have a commitment to defend Syrian Kurdish fighters against Turkey, it does have a “longstanding commitment” to Afghan security forces.

... and Nancy Pelosi will be dropping by - later in the day - to help with that "commitment" of supplying all your Military needs ...

U.S. House speaker Pelosi makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan (Video)
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 20, 2019. Picture taken October 20, 2019. Afghan Presidential Palace /Handout via REUTERS
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior members of Congress made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Sunday, her office said.

Pelosi, who travelled to Afghanistan after a stop in Jordan on Saturday, met President Ashraf Ghani and visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper as well as top U.S. military commanders and some of their troops,
according to a statement released after the conclusion of the visit by the bipartisan delegation.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
... and Nancy Pelosi will be dropping by - later in the day - to help with that "commitment" of supplying all your Military needs ...
@angelburst29 ,

I think you are a brilliant observer...

It is now kind of strange that the Democrats are the new neocons vs the Bolton war-hawks from the Republican side. Maybe they were always just the same STS minded side all along. What a swamp it is...:-/
 
Top Bottom