January 11th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

Biden: U.S. willing to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014

U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if Afghans want them to, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama has announced plans to begin withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan this July, with all U.S. combat troops scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by 2014. FULL POST


Filed under: Troops
January 11th, 2011
07:23 AM ET

Taliban casts long shadow over Afghan schools

"An apple," English teacher Asadullah writes and reads out on the board. A simple word, perhaps, but here speaking and teaching English is something of a novelty and for the U.S. military and Afghan government a success - albeit small.

It would not have been possible four months ago when soldiers from the 101st Airborne arrived in Andar district in Afghanistan's Ghazni province - the first American presence in the area in two years.

"The school was empty, it was essentially a ghost town," Captain Justin Quisenberry recalled. "We found a passerby and asked, 'where are all the students, the teachers?' He said it had been closed for a couple of years, the Taliban threatened us. It's just not a safe place to have classes."

An indication of just how powerful the Taliban has been in this area is the turnout for the country's September elections. Just three people out of the district's 110,000 residents voted.

Classes only just resumed here.

Read the full story

January 11th, 2011
07:18 AM ET

The 'Band of Brothers' lives on

The passing of Maj. Richard "Dick" Winters has reduced the ranks of the legendary "band of brothers," the men of Easy Company, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

But their valor lives on in today's troops, especially the young men and women of the Army's "Screaming Eagles" 101st Airborne Division.

As a reporter who has regularly traveled through Afghanistan with them, let me assure you at some moment, suddenly, Easy Company is there with you in that war zone, just as earlier members of E Company were there for each other and for their country in World War II. FULL POST

American overseeing reconstruction of Afghanistan steps aside
January 11th, 2011
07:15 AM ET

American overseeing reconstruction of Afghanistan steps aside

With the U.S. bill for Afghanistan reconstruction at $56 billion and counting, the watchdog for that spending took himself out of the game Monday, amidst intense pressure and congressional criticism.

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields said he would leave his post as SIGAR - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction - in three weeks, effective February 4. FULL POST