Pakistan positions itself for a U.S. pullout from Afghanistan. CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.
A new report claims Afghanistan leadership may have been conducting negotiations with a "fake" Taliban leader.
The U.S. and NATO allies are looking to turn two or three Afghanistan provinces over to Afghan control by June of next year, with "several more" in the in the summer or fall, according to a senior NATO
While the plan is still a rough estimate of transition, the picture of how Afghans will begin to take over security by as early as March 2011 in some areas is beginning to emerge as NATO leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
meet in Lisbon for meetings on the war.
Officials say there is no set goal to define "success," but the expectation is that some provinces would be handed over even before the U.S. deadline to begin removing some troops from Afghanistan.
Even with serious questions about President Hamid Karzai's commitment to the military strategy in Afghanistan, NATO members plan to announce an enduring presence there beyond 2014, the new target date for handing off security control to the Afghans.
At its weekend summit, NATO members will tout a three-year plan to
transfer security responsibilities by 2014 to the Afghans, beginning early next
year on a phased, conditions-based timeline, NATO officials told CNN.
NATO members plan to offer a message of reassurance to Afghanistan that
the alliance will remain engaged after security control is transferred to
Afghan forces. NATO will endorse an "enduring partnership" with Afghanistan,
specifically focused on developing Afghan security forces and police, officials
An upcoming December review of Afghanistan strategy will help the president determine the "path" and "pace" of the U.S. drawdown of troops and transition of territory to the Afghan government next July, according to a senior administration official.
The approximately 70-page classified review is being prepared to assess progress one year after President Barack Obama announced he was adding 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. At the time, the president said that by July 2011 the United States will begin pulling some troops out depending on the conditions. FULL POST
Four Americans and a Briton were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, military officials said.
The four U.S. service members were killed when their helicopter was downed by hostile fire in Helmand province, said International Security Assistance Force spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph T. Breasseale.
The British soldier was killed in an explosion, also in Helmand province, the British Ministry of Defence said.
June is turning into a deadly month for international forces in Afghanistan - 29 service members, including 19 Americans, have been killed, bringing the American death toll in Afghanistan to more than 1,000, according to CNN's calculations.
"It's been a tough week," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. "Our operational tempo is at an all-time high. We try to do everything to prevent casualties, but we have active operations and more forces there than ever in the past."
For the first time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has surpassed the number in Iraq.
As of Saturday, 94,000 U.S. forces were in Afghanistan and 92,000 in Iraq, according to the U.S. Defense Department. FULL POST
WASHINGTON — Violence in Afghanistan is up nearly 90 percent from this time last year, according to a new Pentagon report submitted to Congress Wednesday.
Despite that increase and a 240 percent spike in roadside bomb attacks - a major factor in overall violence statistics - and increasing Taliban tactics to discredit President Hamid Karzai's government with shadow governments, some officials said they are seeing encouraging trends. FULL POST