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Phillip Walter Wellman

Service members celebrating a ‘takeout’ Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

Thanksgiving is different this year for troops deployed to Afghanistan.

Premature US exit could embolden terrorists, Afghans warn

Reports this week of potential U.S. troop cuts met with warnings from Afghanistan security officials that a rapid drawdown would embolden terrorists and hamper Afghan military efforts to fight its enemies.


Army veteran seeks help as asylum petitions for family in Afghanistan languish

An Afghan-born U.S. Army veteran has turned to the military and online communities for help after years of waiting for officials to act on asylum applications he filed for his family in Afghanistan.


Insurgent attacks jeopardize peace efforts and US troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, watchdog agency says

American officials consistently have said U.S. troop reductions in Afghanistan are conditional on whether the Taliban fulfill commitments they made under a withdrawal deal.


‘No place is safe now’: Afghans in mourning after 22 killed in attack on Kabul University

On a landmark hill overlooking the Afghan capital, a national flag fluttered at half-staff in the breeze, one of many around Kabul that had been lowered Tuesday to mourn 22 people who were killed in an attack by Islamic State militants on Kabul University.


Fraud, waste and abuse cost US $19 billion in one decade in Afghanistan

Most of the nearly $19 billion of U.S. money lost in a decade of war in Afghanistan is attributed to failed counternarcotics and stabilization programs, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report published Tuesday.


Taliban attacks in Helmand boost Afghans’ fears about a hasty US pullout

A deadly Taliban offensive in Afghanistan’s Helmand province has drawn a crescendo of accusations that the militant group is openly flouting a deal under which all American troops could leave the country by next spring, and jeopardizing month-old peace talks with the government.


Afghan troops killed as helicopters crash amid Taliban offensive in Helmand

Nine Afghan troops were killed when two helicopters collided in Helmand province, where fierce fighting between government forces and the Taliban has forced thousands from their homes and led to targeted airstrikes by the U.S. against the militant group.


US strikes Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand province

American forces launched airstrikes in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province after Afghan forces there came under attack from the Taliban, a U.S. military official said Monday.


Trump tweet calls for troops in Afghanistan to be home by Christmas

The U.S. military in Afghanistan did not comment after being asked whether Trump’s tweet represented a change in policy.


Years after they fought in Afghanistan, US troops watch as their children deploy to the same war

“When we started this, people asked why I was going, and my response was, ‘So my sons don’t have to fight this war,’” said Master Sgt. Trevor deBoer, who has deployed to Afghanistan three times.


Afghan war sees its longest span without a US combat death

Sunday marks the longest span between U.S. combat deaths of the nearly 19-year war in Afghanistan, even while fighting continues between the Taliban and U.S.-allied Afghan government forces.


Americans want end to Afghanistan war and fewer foreign interventions, report says

Americans prefer diplomacy over military intervention, want negotiations with adversaries like the Taliban and would rejoin international agreements the country has pulled out of under President Donald Trump, a new report said.


Taliban attacks continue across Afghanistan as peace talks begin

The attacks in 18 Afghan provinces included an advance in northern Jowzjan province Sunday that forced hundreds of people to flee their homes, local officials said.


Trump nominates war skeptic as ambassador to Afghanistan

William Ruger is a foreign policy expert and veteran of the post-9/11 conflict who has repeatedly called for a full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.


Afghan vice president survives bomb attack that kills 10

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh survived an assassination attempt Wednesday when a powerful bomb exploded in central Kabul as he drove past.


NATO coalition service members help flood victims in Afghanistan

Over 150 people were killed and hundreds of homes were destroyed in Afghanistan as of Friday after heavy rains earlier in the week caused flash floods in several central and eastern provinces, the government said.


Kabul starts releasing final group of Taliban prisoners to begin peace talks

The Afghan government has started releasing the final 400 Taliban prisoners the insurgent group wants as a condition for launching long-delayed peace talks, officials said.


Worker stranded at Bagram base petitions military for freedom

A government contractor who’s been confined for months at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan has asked a U.S. military judge to bring his former employer to court and to order his immediate release.


Three-day cease-fire begins in Afghanistan

The Taliban and Afghan government forces began a three-day cease-fire Friday, pausing violence that’s persisted since the U.S. signed a peace deal with the insurgents earlier this year.


African, Asian Bagram workers protest US contractor over allegations of pay discrimination

African and Asian workers at Bagram Airfield who recently demonstrated on base say their company pays them less than others for the same work because of where they’re from.


DOD doesn’t know if Afghan drone program was worth $174 million in US taxpayers’ money, report says

The U.S. military does not know what it got from a five-year effort to train and equip Afghan forces with surveillance drones to help target Taliban fighters in combat, a watchdog agency has found.


COVID-19 restrictions leave contractors stranded for months without pay on Afghanistan base

“Red-badged” employees of U.S.-based Fluor Corp., which the military contracts with for services, have been confined to temporary lodging quarters at Bagram Airfield, several contractors said. One contractor took his own life after waiting two months to return home, colleagues said.


Taliban still working with al-Qaida as US looks to exit Afghanistan, DOD says

The Taliban remain closely tied with al-Qaida, despite assuring the U.S. they would disavow the terrorist group in exchange for a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the Defense Department said this week.


Coalition partners in Afghanistan got years of free lunches because of military mix-up, IG says

U.S. didn't charge 17 allied countries more than $9 million for meals served at NATO headquarters in Kabul from 2016 to 2019.


US lawmakers press for Congress to have ‘thorough oversight’ of Afghanistan troop drawdown

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a bill that would require Congress to oversee the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, amid concerns that too rapid a withdrawal would threaten U.S. and global security.