February 17th, 2011
11:09 AM ET

Security improves in Afghanistan

Brigade commanders update security operations in Afghanistan and respond to questions about "don't ask, don't tell."

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Filed under: Troops
December 17th, 2010
11:04 AM ET

U.S. must draw the line at pedophilia in Afghanistan

Editor's note: Amitai Etzioni is a sociologist and professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including "Security First" and "New Common Ground." He was a senior adviser to the Carter administration and has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities and the University of California, Berkeley.

President Obama is reviewing, again, what we are doing in Afghanistan. He should order our diplomats and generals to stop turning a blind eye to the widespread sexual abuse of children.

At the time our troops helped liberate Afghanistan in 2001, pedophilia had been largely curbed by the Taliban. However, since then, some Pashtun men have have been abusing the new freedoms for which our young men and women are dying - to molest young boys.

This vile practice has been recently documented by an Afghan journalist who returned to his native country for public television's "Frontline."

The program starts with a flat statement: "In an Afghanistan ravaged by war and poverty, an ancient tradition has been secretly revived: Young boys sold by their families to wealthy merchants and warlords, taught to dance and entertain, and used for sex."

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Filed under: Obama • Opinion • Understanding Afghanistan
December 16th, 2010
03:42 PM ET

Opinion: Rethink 'fight then talk' in Afghanistan

Editor's note: Patrick Doherty is the director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington.

Despite tangible military progress in Afghanistan in recent months, the success of the Obama administration's strategy for Afghanistan will be determined by the measure of political and economic progress it brings.

For the last two years, American strategy in Afghanistan has followed the framework of "fight then talk." Under this thinking, the Taliban needed to be weakened before negotiations would begin.

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Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Opinion
December 10th, 2010
11:11 AM ET

Life among U.S. enemies: Embedded with the Taliban

Editor's Note: CNN's "Taliban" documentary explores filmmaker Paul Refsdal's embed with the Taliban and reveals the Taliban at war and at rest, preparing weapons and coordinating ambushes, praying, playing, even at home with their families. It airs on CNN TV Saturday, December 11, 8 p.m. ET

Rarely seen by outsiders, the daily life of a regional Taliban commander named Dawran and his militant fighters is dominated by extremes: love and war, attack and retreat, life and death.

For nine days in October 2009, Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal was behind the lines with the Taliban, embedded as no Western filmmaker before him. And he was there to witness firsthand the jarring juxtapositions in Dawran's life, at turns - directing an attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan's treacherous mountains - then hours later at home, a father playing with his children.

To capture these intimate and unprecedented images, Refsdal risked his life to embed with Dawran and his fighters in Kunar Province - the northeastern region where al Qaeda is active and Osama bin Laden was once rumored to be hiding.

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Filed under: Taliban
December 2nd, 2010
01:36 PM ET

Pakistan responds to WikiLeaks release

CNN speaks to Pakistan's ambassador to Britain about the latest WikiLeaks release.

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Filed under: Pakistan • WikiLeaks
November 19th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

Salute to Sgt. Thomas Luallen

Sgt. Luallen is currently on his 3rd deployment, his first to Afghanistan. His wife sends this salute to her soul mate.

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Filed under: Troops
Hero Afghan dog accidentally euthanized
November 16th, 2010
02:21 PM ET

Hero Afghan dog accidentally euthanized

A dog rescued from Afghanistan after she alerted soldiers to a suicide bomber was accidentally euthanized at an Arizona shelter on Monday.

A Pinal County Animal Care and Control employee has been placed on administrative leave for failing to follow procedures and euthanizing the wrong dog.

Watch file video of "Target" reuniting with a U.S. soldier he saved in Afghanistan

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Filed under: Troops
November 2nd, 2010
11:39 AM ET

Salute to Master Sergeant Derek Hughes

Master Sergeant Heather Hughes salutes her husband, Master Sergeant Derek Hughes, who is deployed to Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Troops
October 21st, 2010
10:43 AM ET

U.S. military to experiment with unmanned helicopters

The U.S. military is hoping to use remote-controlled helicopters like these, shown in January 2010, for supply delivery.

Faced with increasing casualties from roadside bombs in Afghanistan, the U.S. military will experiment with remote-controlled, unmanned helicopters to deliver supplies to remote outposts, according to a report Thursday.

The U.S. Navy is seeking a contractor to operate the program, scheduled for 2011, the report in Stars and Stripes said.

“This is a rapid deployment effort being led by the Navy in response to an urgent needs requirement for a Cargo UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) capability in support of Marine Corps forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom,” Eric Pratson, leader of the Navy team behind the project, told Stripes.

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Filed under: Understanding Afghanistan
October 6th, 2010
02:41 PM ET

Woodward on Afghanistan

CNN's John King interviews journalist Bob Woodward on the president's management of the war in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Obama • Understanding Afghanistan