November 18th, 2010
07:50 PM ET

Afghan watchdog under fire

The man overseeing how billions of dollars are spent in Afghanistan is the wrong man for the job, a U.S. senator charged Thursday.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, criticized former Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, as he appeared before her and other senators at a subcommittee hearing to examine the performance of his office.

That office oversees $56 billion in Afghanistan spent on projects including schools, roads and water plants. The U.S. plans to spend $16 billion more next year.

"I don't think you are the right person for this job," McCaskill told Fields after more than an hour of questioning. 

McCaskill had the support of at least one person in the visitors'
gallery.

"Fire that man, fire that man right away," called out an unidentified person who stalked out of the hearing.

FULL STORY

November 18th, 2010
02:18 PM ET

US, NATO to be in Afghanistan beyond 2014 security handover

Even with serious questions about President Hamid Karzai's commitment to the military strategy in Afghanistan, NATO members plan to announce an enduring presence there beyond 2014, the new target date for handing off security control to the Afghans.

At its weekend summit, NATO members will tout a three-year plan to
transfer security responsibilities by 2014 to the Afghans, beginning early next
year on a phased, conditions-based timeline, NATO officials told CNN.

NATO members plan to offer a message of reassurance to Afghanistan that
the alliance will remain engaged after security control is transferred to
Afghan forces. NATO will endorse an "enduring partnership" with Afghanistan,
specifically focused on developing Afghan security forces and police, officials
said.
FULL POST

November 18th, 2010
10:30 AM ET

British soldier killed in Afghanistan

A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, Britain's Ministry of Defense said Wednesday.

The soldier, from 1st Battalion Irish Guards serving with Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North), died from a gunshot wound sustained in an ambush during a patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj (North) district of Helmand Province.

"The soldier was carrying out vital work mentoring an Afghan national army patrol, in order to develop their ability to protect the people of Nahr-e Saraj (North), when he was struck by small-arms fire, said Lt. Col. David Eastman, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

In all, 344 British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Troops