U.S. defends Taliban swap for captured soldier

Jun 2, 2014

U.S. defends Taliban swap for captured soldier

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday an operation to free captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Taliban prisoners was undertaken to save his life. The insurgents’ leader, who has evaded capture since 2001, hailed the swap as a “big victory”. Bergdahl, the ...

CIA winds down drone strike program in Pakistan

May 30, 2014

CIA winds down drone strike program in Pakistan

The CIA’s targeted killing program in Pakistan, once the mainstay of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism effort, is winding down. Because of stricter rules, diplomatic sensitivities and the changing nature of the al-Qaida threat, there hasn’t been a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas ...

Key faction splits from Pakistani Taliban

May 29, 2014

Key faction splits from Pakistani Taliban

A leading faction within the Pakistani Taliban split from the umbrella militant organization on Wednesday, a top commander said, underscoring the difficulty the U.S.-allied government will have in negotiating an end to a decade of violence with increasingly fragmented militant groups. The split came ...

Obama makes surprise visit to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan

May 26, 2014

Obama makes surprise visit to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan

After paying a surprise visit Sunday to soldiers fighting the last battles of America’s longest war, U.S. President Barack Obama promised a decision on post-2014 troop numbers in Afghanistan “fairly shortly.” Obama made a covert night-time trip from the White House to Bagram Air ...

Afghan poll may be headed for runoff

May 3, 2014

Afghan poll may be headed for runoff

The two leading candidates in the race to become Afghanistan’s next president rallied supporters and urged election officials to come clean on fraud on April 27 as the country readied for an expected grueling runoff in June. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, both ministers ...

Apr 29, 2014

Building hope in Afghanistan

More than 55 percent of an estimated 12 million eligible Afghan voters turned out for the presidential election earlier this month, braving Taliban attacks against polling stations. That's up from the 30 to 35 percent turnout in 2009.

Pakistan's army wants TV news channel shut down

Apr 24, 2014

Pakistan's army wants TV news channel shut down

Pakistan’s powerful army has asked a government regulator to shut down a leading private news channel over what the military calls “false” reports that the country’s intelligence service shot one of its top anchors. Press freedom advocates on Wednesday decried the move against Geo ...

Poll success puts Afghans on track — for now

| Apr 9, 2014

Poll success puts Afghans on track — for now

In a nation more associated with calamity than consensus, the initial results of Saturday’s Afghan presidential election are startling. Despite Taliban threats to attack polling stations nationwide, the same percentage of Afghans turned out to vote — roughly 58 percent — as did Americans ...

Afghans vote amid specter of violence

| Apr 5, 2014

Afghans vote amid specter of violence

Voting was peaceful during the first few hours of Afghanistan’s presidential election Saturday, with only isolated attacks on polling stations as the country embarked on the first democratic transfer of power since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Four voters were wounded ...