A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flies toward the Joghatoe District, Logar province, southeast of Kabul, where it will drop leaflets announcing a radio broadcast.
WASHINGTON — Congress delved Wednesday into the politically explosive issue of unmanned drone attacks, questioning the legality of operations increasingly used to combat al Qaeda and Taliban militants in countries such as Pakistan.
In the eight years of George W. Bush's presidency, unmanned aircraft - or drones - attacked militant targets 45 times.
Since President Barack Obama took office, the numbers have risen sharply: 51 last year and 29 so far this year. FULL POST
Amid helicopter gunships overhead, men danced and Afghan National Army troops marched during a Kabul ceremony on Wednesday to mark the 1992 toppling of the Soviet-backed regime.
The former Soviet Union, which once shared a border with Afghanistan, invaded Afghanistan and installed a puppet regime in the capital of Kabul in 1979. A long, weary guerilla war between various Afghan resistance groups and Soviet forces ensued. In 1992, the mujahedeen declared Afghanistan liberated. The Taliban gained control a few years later.
The Wednesday ceremonies, which spectators and government officials attended, also included a 21-gun salute and speeches. It was held at a sports stadium in the central part of the city, which was used as a public execution ground by the Taliban regime from the late 90s into 2001. FULL POST
A recent poll found 70 percent of Germans want to pull their troops out of Afghanistan. A majority of Germans favor their army, but outright support of military action is lukewarm, making Germany's Afghanistan policy a political minefield. And so earlier this year, the country leading NATO in Northern Afghanistan pledged only 500 additional soldiers — far fewer than allies have hoped.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — There are "press clubs" the world over, from Hong Kong to Sydney, New York to New Delhi — places where journalists can gather, network, maybe grab a drink.
Some are small and convivial, others large and even ostentatious.
But I can’t think of any with armed guards on the roof, and surrounded by concrete blast walls.
Welcome to the Kandahar Press Club.
Afghanistan is a nation full of risky professions, and being a local reporter is right up there near the top of the list. FULL POST