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Phillip Walter Wellman

Gold Star families hold out hope for peace in Afghanistan

Three Gold Star families talk about the prospect of the U.S.’s longest war coming to an end.

Pompeo makes surprise visit to Afghanistan as peace process slumps

During his visit, U.S. secretary of state is expected to try to help end the impasse, which has put on hold the start of intra-Afghan peace talks that would include the Taliban.


Military halts Afghanistan deployments, will extend some troops there amid coronavirus concerns

The announcement comes after some U.S. lawmakers last week voiced concerns that U.S. troops in Afghanistan were not properly protected from the pandemic.


Kabul to release Taliban POWs ahead of peace talks

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed on Wednesday to release Taliban prisoners so that peace talks can begin between the government and insurgent group.


US troops start to leave Afghanistan, but peace process hits a snag on government, Taliban talks

The United States met a deadline set out in its peace deal with the Taliban when it began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan this week, but the peace process hit a snag as the insurgents and Afghan government failed to start negotiations Tuesday to chart out the country’s future.


Rocket blasts disrupt Afghanistan presidential inauguration, adding chaos to peace process

Rocket blasts briefly interrupted the swearing-in ceremony Monday of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which took place as his chief rival in last year’s election for the country’s highest office held his own inauguration nearby.


Gunfire at ceremony in Kabul kills at least 32; ISIS claims responsibility

Gunfire killed dozens of people at a memorial in Kabul attended by senior Afghan government officials Friday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website.


US military targets Taliban in first airstrike since signing peace deal

The strike in Helmand province targeted Taliban fighters who were attacking an Afghan forces checkpoint, said a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan.


Discord rises over release of prisoners, conditions of withdrawal as Afghan peace talks move forward

Some in Afghanistan said that the Taliban’s refusal to include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the deal guaranteed some discord from the start and underscored how difficult it will be for Afghan negotiations to bring peace.


Analysis

With US-Taliban pact moving forward, Afghan political rivals might set aside election drama

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government could ease tensions over a drawn-out election drama in Afghanistan, where, after nearly two decades of U.S.-led war and reconstruction efforts, a stable democracy has yet to take shape.


‘God willing, peace will come’: Reduction in Afghan violence brings hope; some fighting goes on

There was a “significant” drop in violence in Afghanistan on Saturday, the first day of a weeklong period of reduced violence, the Afghan Defense Ministry said. Several attacks were reported throughout the day but didn’t appear to break the truce.


100,000 civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan in 10 years, UN says

Despite the “grim milestone,” the overall number of civilian war casualties documented last year dropped to a six-year low, the U.N. said.


Afghans fear gains made since Taliban’s 2001 ouster could be lost as peace deal progresses, US leaves

As Washington and the Taliban move toward a deal to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, many in the country fear that gains made since the Taliban was ousted in 2001 could be reversed.


10th Mountain Division soldier dies at Bagram Airfield

Spc. Branden Tyme Kimball, 21, was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) Combat Aviation Brigade, based in Fort Drum, N.Y.


Defense Department seeks lowest funding for Afghan War in a decade

The U.S. military is planning to spend less on the war in Afghanistan than at any other time in over a decade, partly because of an expected drawdown of American forces from the country, a draft Defense Department budget shows.


Patriots with a calling to serve: Special Operations troops killed in Afghanistan remembered

Sgt. 1st Class Javier J. Gutierrez and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio R. Rodriguez, who killed in combat in Afghanistan last week, were remembered by relatives and friends as patriots with a calling to serve their country.


White House: Afghanistan opium yield expected to rise even as acreage planted to poppies falls

Afghanistan could see one of the highest yields of opium in nearly a decade, even though land totalling 146,000 fewer acres — the equivalent of 111,000 football fields — was planted to poppies last year, White House estimates show.


Two Special Forces soldiers killed, other US service members injured by shooter in Afghan uniform

Two American service members and an Afghan soldier were killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, military officials from both countries said.


Soldier serving life sentence for killing Afghan civilians and keeping body parts appeals conviction

A former Army staff sergeant sentenced to life in prison for intentionally killing Afghan civilians and keeping their body parts as trophies has filed suit in federal court to have his convictions overturned.


Insurgents stepped up attacks in late 2019 as Afghan operations lulled, report says

Between October and December, insurgents initiated just over 8,200 attacks, of which about 40% resulted in casualties among pro-Afghan government forces and civilians, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report.


Remains of two US service members recovered from site of plane crash in Afghanistan

The service members were aboard an Air Force Bombardier E-11A communications aircraft that crashed Monday in Ghazni province. They were the only people aboard the plane at the time of the crash.


US communications plane crashes in Afghanistan

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said on Twitter that while the incident was under investigation, “there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire.”


Ranger medics save lives in Afghanistan with blood transfusions while under fire

Two Army Rangers are alive today thanks to a program that is changing the way blood transfusions are done in combat.


2020 VISION

Reducing violence and troop numbers in Afghanistan a difficult task for US

The United States looks set on reducing violence while decreasing its footprint in Afghanistan in 2020, but doing so will be a challenge, and ending the war outright is unlikely, experts say.


Rights group says CIA backs Afghan paramilitaries that execute people without trial

The U.S. has trained and supported paramilitary groups in Afghanistan that have committed summary executions, forcibly disappeared people and have been behind more than a dozen serious abuse cases in the last 18 months, a human rights organization said Thursday.


US troops safe after hitting roadside bomb in Afghanistan, military says

The incident happened in Parwan province, home to Bagram Airfield, the U.S.’s largest base in the country.