Phillip Walter Wellman


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.

House approves bill to rename Pennsylvania post office after airman killed in Afghanistan

A post office in western Pennsylvania is on track to be renamed after Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, who was killed in Afghanistan last year.

US airstrikes in Afghanistan near record high after Trump vows to hit enemy hard

The increase in bombing followed the collapse of peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in early September and a vow by President Donald Trump “to hit our enemy harder” than ever before.

Senior al-Qaida leader killed by US and Afghan forces, officials say

A top Al-Qaida commander was killed in a raid by Afghan forces last month, Afghan intelligence officials said Tuesday, in an operation backed by U.S. airstrikes that also killed tens of civilians.

Afghan officials: US airstrike targeting Taliban adds to civilian death toll

A U.S. airstrike in central Afghanistan on Saturday killed several civilians, local residents and officials said, marking the latest incident this month in which American forces have been accused of killing noncombatants in the country.

Afghan man, 18, who has known only war, casts first vote with hope for peace

On Saturday morning, as many Afghans in the capital stayed home, perhaps fearful of a Taliban attack or tired of seeing past votes do little to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans, Murtaza voted for the first time in his life.

Amid threats of violence, Afghans prepare to vote in presidential election

Afghans are preparing to vote this weekend in their country’s fourth presidential election since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001, amid threats of violence from insurgent groups.

Report: Expensive airfares harm embassy operations in Afghanistan and Iraq

A 7-minute helicopter trip with Embassy Air in Afghanistan costs nearly $1,500, while a 1-hour plane journey in Iraq is priced at nearly $4,800, the report by the State Department Inspector General said.

Taliban must be reintegrated into Afghan society with US help, watchdog says

Recent talks between American and Taliban officials aimed at ending the U.S.’s longest war highlighted the need to incorporate an estimated 150,000 insurgents into the military, government and other areas, to make enduring peace likely, said a U.S. watchdog.

US blamed as Afghan officials say over 70 killed or injured in airstrike

The U.S. military was under fire Thursday from Afghan officials who said an American drone strike in Nangarhar province had killed at least 30 people and wounded more than 40 others. The U.S. military said claims of civilian casualties were being investigated.

Army identifies Green Beret killed by small-arms fire in Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, 40, of Greenbrier, Tenn., died in action Monday in Wardak province.

Coalition airstrikes soared even as US, Taliban talked peace

As U.S. and Taliban officials talked peace, the U.S. military was accelerating airstrikes in Afghanistan, with the biggest monthly tally of the year carried out in August as the negotiations were in their final stage, a new report shows.

Taliban: More Americans will die if Trump cancels peace talks

The group replied to a series of tweets by President Donald Trump on Saturday that said a secret meeting with “major leaders” of the Taliban at Camp David had been canceled because of an attack by the insurgents that killed an American soldier.

Son of slain Afghan guerrilla leader launches anti-Taliban movement amid civil war fears

The son of Afghanistan’s most famous anti-Taliban commander launched a movement against the insurgents Thursday, amid Afghan fears that a U.S. troop withdrawal could spark civil war.

Taliban launch attack on another provincial capital

The fighting came as the latest round of direct talks between Taliban and U.S. negotiators wrapped up in Qatar.

Taliban launch major attack at Kunduz as talks continue

Afghan special forces were sent from Kabul to support local forces in the northern city, but no U.S. ground troops or airstrikes were called for, according to Afghan defense spokesman.

An Afghan soldier’s relatives held his funeral. Nine months later, he called them.

A family was summoned to a morgue in Kabul to claim the mangled remains of their son, a soldier killed in battle with the Taliban. They took the remains home to Kunar province for burial. Nine months later, he called.

US troops targeted in suicide attack near Bagram Airfield

A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of foreign forces near the U.S.’s largest base in Afghanistan on Friday. No coalition troops were injured, officials said.

'One of the toughest kids I’ve ever met': Families mourn Green Berets killed in Afghanistan

The family of Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, of La Puente, Calif., requested that the Army not release further information about him, U.S. Army Special Operations Command said. But the family of Master Sgt. Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, 31, publicly grieved his death in numerous social media posts.

Afghans lack training for airdrops and accurate airstrikes, IG reports

Afghan forces trained by U.S. and coalition advisers aren’t capable of coordinating airdrops and may not receive adequate training to prevent them from killing civilians and friendly forces during airstrikes, a Defense Department report said.

Army brigade uses mini drones for first time in Afghanistan

Army photos of the patrol Friday show troops deploying at least one drone, which resembles a miniature helicopter, during a counterterrorism mission.

Afghan civilian casualties spike significantly in July, UN says

The war in Afghanistan killed and wounded more civilians in July than in any other month since May 2017, the United Nations said Saturday.

Letter campaign aims to give voices to Afghans feeling sidelined by peace process

A letter-writing campaign in the Afghan capital aims to bring the voices of its residents to all the main players in the country’s ongoing war, from the U.S. to the Afghan government to the Taliban.

Afghanistan security forces’ strength at lowest level since 2015, US watchdog says

The U.S. Congress has appropriated nearly $82.67 billion to support security in Afghanistan, or nearly two-thirds of all U.S. reconstruction funding for the country since fiscal year 2002.

Pentagon names two paratroopers killed during insider attack in Afghanistan

Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, died in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province, “as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident,” said a Defense Department statement issued Tuesday evening. The incident is under investigation.

UN: Nearly 4,000 Afghan civilians killed or wounded by war during first half of 2019

The number of civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan has dropped significantly during the first half of this year but remains “shocking and unacceptable,” the United Nations said Tuesday.