March 8th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

Around the Web: McChrystal addresses Kandahar

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, says his next target is Kandahar.
He declined to comment specifically on when the Kandahar offensive will begin, but said "our forces will be significantly increased around there by early summer."

"There won't be a 'D-Day' that is climactic," McChrystal said. "It will be a rising tide of security as it comes."


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Filed under: Around the Web • Karzai • Marjah
March 8th, 2010
03:35 PM ET

From fighters to fixers: Marines woo villagers

Yesterday I wrote a piece for Afghanistan Crossroads touching on the main challenge facing the coalition now that the fighting in Marjah has come to an end: winning over the local population.

Today, Monday, we saw first hand what that means. We went to the rough base of the Charlie Company to join a patrol heading to the village of Nasiri, outside Marjah. Mad-dogs, Englishmen and the Marines go out in the midday sun. FULL POST

March 8th, 2010
11:58 AM ET

Opinion: Never dismiss power of Afghan women

Afghan women won the world's attention nine years ago following the routing of Taliban troops at the hands of U.S. and Afghan forces. Back then, a rush of dignitaries flew to Kabul to denounce the Taliban's brutal treatment of women, although the world had largely forgotten these same women during the previous seven years.

No school, no work, no leaving the house without a man - even a boy would do. These are the laws Afghan women learned to live with, because they had to. Yet they also found a way to work around those rules.  Throughout the Taliban years, Afghan women ran aid organizations, practiced medicine, taught schools and ran businesses. They refused to be victims; instead, they led their communities and helped them survive desolate years of economic collapse and political isolation.

Read the full Op-Ed from Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

March 8th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

Taliban claims responsibility for Pakistan bombing

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) - The Taliban said Monday it was behind a suicide bombing in Lahore that killed 11 people and wounded more than 60.

Azam Tariq, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said the attack was in response to U.S. aggression against Muslims around the world.  "I am proud to accept the responsibility of the Lahore suicide blast," he wrote in a text message to CNN. "We will follow U.S. and its allies all over the world, even if they are in Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Afghanistan or in U.S." FULL POST

Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban
March 8th, 2010
07:49 AM ET

Gates makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Afghanistan on Monday morning on an unannounced visit, as NATO-led coalition forces are pressing an offensive in the nation's south in the area around Marjah. Gates was scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Read the full story

Filed under: Operation Moshtarak • Pentagon • Troops
March 8th, 2010
07:38 AM ET

Still a long road to equality for women in Afghanistan

What's it mean to be a woman in Afghanistan? Chances are you can't read or write, you married before you were 18 years old and have around 6 kids, and you may be working — but you're getting paid half of what your male counterparts make.

On International Women's Day, take a look at how women in Afghanistan fare, according to the 2010 report from the United Nations Development Fund for Women. FULL POST

March 8th, 2010
07:30 AM ET

Mixed reports over whether al Qaeda American arrested

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) - The identity and nationality of an alleged al Qaeda operative arrested in Pakistan remained shrouded in mystery and conflicting information Monday, a day after Pakistani officials said one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists was in custody.

A Pakistani military official told CNN Monday that the man arrested is a foreign operative linked to al Qaeda. The official did not specifically describe the man as American, and gave no further details.

On Sunday, a senior Pakistani government official told CNN that Adam Gadahn, a U.S.-born spokesman for al Qaeda, had been arrested. A second senior Pakistani government official later confirmed Gadahn's arrest.

But a U.S. intelligence official said there appeared to be no validity to the reports that Gadahn was in custody. Other U.S. officials also said they had no indication Gadahn had been captured.

Read the full story

Filed under: al Qaeda • Pakistan
March 8th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

About 50 dead as rebel groups fight each other

KABUL, Afghanistan - About 50 insurgents, including more than a dozen Taliban, have been killed in fighting between two rebel groups in Afghanistan, Baghlan province governor Mohammed Akbar Barikzai said Sunday. Some 35 fighters of the Hezb-e-Eslami, or Islamic Party, and 13 Taliban died the fighting, which began Saturday and continued into Sunday, he told CNN. FULL POST