NATO is six months into an 18-month counterinsurgency plan aimed at turning the tide of the nearly 9-year war in Afghanistan.
In the coming months, the focus of both ground operations and the rebuilding mission will be on the southern province of Kandahar - the spiritual home of the Taliban. Success here is perhaps one of the last chances to keep support for the war alive among Afghans.
"Failure in Afghanistan is not an option," says Haroun Mir, an Afghan analyst and parliamentary candidate. "Certainly the United States can abandon Afghanistan. But the problem is, al Qaeda and the Taliban will not abandon their fight against the United States." FULL POST
Editor's note: Bibi Aisha, the Afghan 19-year-old mutilated by her Talib husband, is now on her way to the United States for reconstructive surgery. CNN correspondent Atia Abawi writes about first meeting Aisha and what she's like today.
Bibi Aisha didn't want to be interviewed and I couldn't blame her.
But her story was so remarkable – and so tragic – that I wasn't about to give up my efforts.
I had to make one more phone call.
Nineteen-year-old Aisha had survived persistent abuse a traumatic assault. Her husband — a member of the Taliban — sliced off her nose and ears after a Taliban court in Oruzgan ruled she had brought shame to the family by running away. (See the original story)
The court didn't care that she was tortured and abused by her father-in-law and 10 brothers-in-law on a daily basis. FULL POST
She's a sexy celebrity with millions of fans, including U.S. President Barack Obama.
With flashy music videos and a performance at the White House this past March, Mozhdah is a singing sensation and a model. And her latest achievement is becoming the host of a popular - though controversial - television talk show.
But if you don't know who she is, you're probably not an Afghan.
Mozhdah Jamalzadah is an Afghan superstar in a country still struggling with war and a battle between ideologies and cultures. FULL POST
Washington may be up in arms over Gen. Stanley McChrystal's comments to Rolling Stone magazine about the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and how some of his colleagues are handling it — but some in Afghanistan are asking what the fuss is all about? FULL POST
Afghanistan does not have a World Cup soccer team of its own, but many countries in the coalition do. And they're preparing to cheer on their home countries in the tournament from Afghanistan, as CNN correspondent Atia Abawi reports. Meanwhile, some British troops in Afghanistan send out a special message to England's team. FULL POST