April 29th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

NATO readies for greater fight from insurgents in Afghanistan

The NATO alliance in Afghanistan anticipates insurgents will attempt to launch an extensive new round of attacks against U.S. and coalition forces as well as Afghan civilians "in the coming days," according to an International Security Assistance Force military official.

The assessment comes as the Pentagon issued its latest semi-annual report to Congress on Afghanistan, which concludes that gains are significant enough to allow for the beginning of transferring security to the Afghans in parts of the country.

April 29th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

U.S. troops killed by Afghan pilot were armed, NATO says

The eight American troops killed by an Afghan pilot earlier this week at an airport in Kabul were all armed with "weapons and ammo," according to the preliminary findings released Friday of an investigation by NATO and the Afghan government.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has said the military pilot opened fire on the troops, sparking a gunfight on Wednesday.

The investigation centers around how the gunman managed to kill eight armed troops, an ISAF official briefed on the investigation told CNN. A private American contractor was also killed in the shooting.

April 29th, 2011
01:04 PM ET

Pentagon says Afghanistan ready to take over security in some areas

The military says gains made in Afghanistan over the last half year has created the "necessary conditions" to begin transferring control of security to the Afghanistan government in seven areas of the country inhabited by approximately 20-25% of the population, according to a new report prepared by the Pentagon for Congress.

The latest semi-annual report concludes insurgent momentum has been halted in much of the country though the gains are "fragile and reversible." However, the report notes that efforts to fortify government and development was "slower than security gains" over the the last six months.

Read the full report

April 29th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Fareed Zakaria on scaling back the U.S. role in Afghanistan

Last night I talked to Eliot Spitzer about reports of an April 16 meeting between leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan where, as Eliot said, "these two supposed U.S. allies conspired to throw the U.S. out and look toward China as the benefactor." Here's my view:

Sometimes the United States enters places in South Asia and we assume it is all very simple – there are good guys and bad guys. We are coming in support the good guys, so we presume they should be on our side against the bad guys.

But actually there is an existing set of regional dynamics at work. We’re the interloper. We’re coming into this game pretty late. The regional actors think we are going to leave.

Read the full story on Global Public Square
Photo Spotlight: Cooling off
April 29th, 2011
12:14 PM ET

Photo Spotlight: Cooling off

As summer peeks around the corner and warmer weather appears, children splash and play  to cool off in the Tarnek River in the Zabul province located in southern Afghanistan.