WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee is asking for a Justice Department review of whether two companies misled the Defense Department to get a contract for work in Afghanistan.
The request by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, in the form of a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, comes after Levin's committee investigated a Xe Services subsidiary called Paravant. Xe is the new name for Blackwater, a war-time contractor that has been involved in high-profile incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan. FULL POST
WASHINGTON – Citizens of Marjah remain very skeptical of U.S. troops and the Afghan government that has moved in and taken over the southern Afghanistan town, according to the U.S. general in charge of the operation.
U.S. Marine Corps Brig. General Larry Nicholson said on Thursday that 20 days into the operation to rid the area of Taliban influence, the public is concerned about what the new Afghan government is going to be able to do for them.
"We are in competition every day for the confidence and support of the population – we're in competition with the Taliban," Nichols told reporters at the Pentagon during a video-teleconference briefing from Helmand province. "We have a very narrow window of opportunity here in Marjah to make that first impression and you get one shot at it," he said. FULL POST
Men leave for the day after working on the Kohsan canal in Herat in western Afghanistan. Piles of sand as high as four meters (about 13 feet) in areas had blocked some of the important 45-kilometer (about 28-mile) canal, where water must be kept flowing year-round to irrigate farmers' fields. Local men dredged the canal in a rehabilitation project. (Photo by Eric Kanalstein of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)