April 19th, 2011
09:14 AM ET

Probe finds McChrystal, aides did nothing wrong

Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job when Rolling Stone magazine ran an article in which some of his aides made disparaging remarks about the vice president and others. But a newly released investigation by the Department of Defense inspector general finds neither McChrystal nor any of his aides did anything wrong.

In the article called "The Runaway General" reporter Michael Hastings wrote that one of McChrystal's aides referred to Vice President Joseph Biden as "Bite Me" and another referred to then-national security adviser Gen. James Jones as a "clown." FULL POST

February 1st, 2011
05:55 PM ET

U.S. commander: Spring to bring new tactics by Taliban

A recent lull in Taliban resistance will not last, says a top commander who adds that come spring, the insurgents will be back on the offensive in Afghanistan, perhaps with assassination teams.

Despite the dismal prediction by the number-two American commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez painted a positive picture of American and international war efforts there, but warned the Taliban will be back on the offensive when spring arrives. FULL POST

WikiLeaks: Karzai's brother denies drug dealing
November 30th, 2010
08:13 AM ET

WikiLeaks: Karzai's brother denies drug dealing

Two of the cables released by the WikiLeaks website this week paint an unflattering and somewhat unexpected portrait of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In a meeting with a senior U.S. diplomat last February, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who is the Kandahar provincial council chief, made the case that he, not the governor of Kandahar, was "the most powerful official in Kandahar and could deliver whatever is needed," according to a cable about the meeting leaked Sunday by WikiLeaks. His comments came just as the U.S. was about to focus its military efforts on Kandahar. FULL POST

November 11th, 2010
07:32 AM ET

The battle that created America's newest hero

Editor's note: President Obama will present Sal Giunta with the Medal of Honor award on Tuesday. Watch live on CNN TV and online.

COMBAT OUTPOST DURANI, Afghanistan — Their memories of the firefight are still searing, three years after it took place.

"The whole time frame lasted, I don't know, maybe two minutes, three minutes. Five or six lifetimes," U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta told CNN. "You can turn and see the muzzle flashes and the bullets coming out of the guns and it's not just one of them, not just 10 of them, it's more than that."

It was an October night in the part of eastern Afghanistan called the Korengal Valley, not far from the Pakistani border. Soldiers describe it as unlike other parts of Afghanistan where dust and bare rocks are everywhere. The Korengal is timber country, green interlaced with boulders. A treacherous terrain for U.S. paratroopers.

"Everything is hard," Sal Giunta told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr. "The rocks are hard. The people are hard. The vegetation is hard. Everything is sharp." FULL POST

November 10th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

Marine from Kentucky considered for Medal of Honor

The U.S. Marine Corps' top leader has recommended a Marine from Kentucky for the Medal of Honor, CNN has learned.

Dakota Meyer is only 22 years old, but he's already seen enough for any person's lifetime. He was in Afghanistan's Kunar Province in September 2009 when he repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops.

"I was a failure," Meyer told CNN. "My guys died. That was my whole team."

The Marines don't see it that way. CNN has learned from a Defense official with knowledge of the award process that just before he retired, former U.S. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway recommended Meyer for the nation's highest award for bravery. FULL POST

November 5th, 2010
08:25 AM ET

From Fort Hood shooting to war zone and finally home

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When the members of the 467th Combat Stress Control Detachment from Madison, Wisconsin, left for Afghanistan about a year ago, the war had never been more violent. But the unit had already been through the hell of gunfire and killing.

The 467th was inside the building at Ft. Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, when a gunman opened fire, methodically killing 13 people and injuring dozens more. Soon after, they shipped to the warzone. FULL POST

Medal of Honor recipient: Honor is 'bittersweet'
September 15th, 2010
01:17 PM ET

Medal of Honor recipient: Honor is 'bittersweet'

The first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War says his receiving the prestigious award is bittersweet.

“It’s emotional and it’s great. All of this is great. But it does bring back a lot of memories of people that I would love to share this moment with. And I am just not going to have this opportunity because they are no longer with us,” U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta said during a teleconference Wednesday. FULL POST

August 24th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Marine boss: It'll be 'years' before Afghans take over

It will be a "few years" before U.S. forces in Afghanistan can turn over full responsibility for security operations to Afghan troops, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday.

"I think it will be a few years before conditions on the ground are such that we would expect to be able to turn it over to the Afghan forces," Gen. James Conway told reporters at the Pentagon. "And I think there's a mindset that needs to accompany that on the part of our Marines, that it may be awhile." FULL POST

August 23rd, 2010
04:23 PM ET

General: We're training 3 Afghans to get 1 soldier

There's been talk in Washington for months of the July 2011 deadline, when President Barack Obama promised to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. He didn't say how many or how quickly.

But there is a less talked about date on the horizon that may be more important: October 31, 2011. FULL POST

August 16th, 2010
10:03 AM ET

7 Special Forces soldiers get Silver Star for Afghan valor

[Update] Seven soldiers received public recognition for their actions during a Silver Star ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Silver Star recipients downplay their heroism when they talked with CNN at the ceremony.

[Original post] It's been clear for months that the fighting in Afghanistan is more intense than it's been since the war there started nearly nine years ago. Yet, from the midst of those increasingly violent firefights come some amazing stories of heroism.

On Monday, seven soldiers will receive public recognition for their actions during a Silver Star ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The medals - the third-highest award for valor in the Army - are being awarded for five separate battles over a span of more than two years. FULL POST