US Gov't Peacekeeping Issues

In Vast Jungle, U.S. Troops Aid in Search for Kony

Published April 29, 2012 by The New York Times
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OBO, Central African Republic — It has got to be one of the oddest matchups in United States military history. One hundred of America’s elite Special Operations troops, aided by night vision scopes and satellite imagery, are helping African forces find a wig-wearing, gibberish-speaking fugitive rebel commander named Joseph Kony who has been hiding out in the jungle for years with a band of child soldiers and a harem of dozens of child brides.

Afghanistan, US 'finalise draft post-2014 deal'

Published April 22, 2012 by Agence France Press
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KABUL — Afghan and US officials have finalised the initial draft of a strategic partnership agreement that will govern relations between Kabul and Washington after 2014, a presidential statement said Sunday.  "The draft agreement on Afghanistan and US long-term partnership was finalised and initialed on Sunday in Kabul by the heads of the two negotiating delegations in Kabul", a presidential statement said, "The agreement is now ready for signature by both the Presidents."  No details were released of the content of the draft agreement, which will now be reviewed by the US a

U.S. and NATO Finalize Pacts on Ending Afghan War

Published April 19, 2012 by The New York Times
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BRUSSELS — The United States and its allies in NATO finalized agreements on Wednesday to wind down the war in Afghanistan, paving the way for President Obama to announce at a NATO summit meeting in Chicago next month that the unpopular, nearly 11-year-old conflict is close to an end.

Haqqani network behind Afghan attacks - U.S. envoy

Published April 19, 2012 by Reuters
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(Reuters) - The American ambassador to Afghanistan said on Thursday there was "no question" that the Haqqani network mounted attacks on Kabul and other areas over the weekend, and reiterated a long-standing demand that ally Pakistan go after the group.  The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks on foreign embassies and parliament, which lasted 18 hours, killing 11 Afghan security forces and four civilians. Thirty-five insurgents died.

Afghan Assaults Signal Evolution of a Militant Foe

Published April 17, 2012 by The New York Times
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WASHINGTON — Western military and intelligence officials acknowledged on Monday that they were surprised by the scale and sophistication of the synchronized attacks in Afghanistan on Sunday, seeing it as a troubling step in the evolution of the Haqqani Taliban network from a crime mob to a leading militant force.

Afghan Force Will Be Cut After Taking Leading Role

Published April 11, 2012 by The New York Times
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WASHINGTON — Afghanistan’s defense minister said Tuesday that his government and the international coalition paying for the war effort had agreed in principle that Afghan security forces would undergo a significant reduction to about 230,000 personnel after the NATO mission ends in 2014.  Under current plans, Afghan security forces are to reach a peak of 352,000 by late this year.

From Afghanistan, the countdown to 2014

Published April 7, 2012 by Reuters
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The dusty streets of Kabul are choked with traffic, restaurants selling American fast food are bustling and there is a crowd of students and parents outside a girls’ school in the centre of town trying to slip through the shuttered gates at the start of the school year.  Returning to Kabul for the first time since December, there was no sense that the mood on the ground had changed significantly. But I couldn’t help wondering how all this might change once foreign troops who have propped up the Afghan state for more than a decade leave in 2014.

Defending Afghanistan: are Afghan forces ready?

Published April 9, 2012 by Christian Science Monitor
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The dirt roads through Balaqala in the Charhasya Valley south of Kabul are oozy with mud after recent rains, and the fruit trees just beyond low earthen walls are about to blossom and demand tending. Still, many of the village's 1,000 inhabitants have come out to hear what Brig. Gen. Said Abdul Karim, commander of the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command, has to say about the 15 Afghan elite troops who have set up camp in a nearby empty farmhouse.

Deal Close on Night Raids, U.S. and Afghan Officials Say

Published April 3, 2012 by The New York Times
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KABUL, Afghanistan — After years of insisting that American forces end covert nighttime raids on Afghan homes, President Hamid Karzai’s government was close to completing a deal that would give the Afghan authorities legal oversight of the raids, while allowing American forces to retain a guiding role in conducting them, officials from both countries said Tuesday.

Room for Debate: Should the US Leave Afghanistan?

Published April 4, 2012 by The New York Times
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More than two-thirds of Americans in a recent New York Times poll said the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan and even many Afghans are planning on leaving their country. With relations frayed by disturbing events like the village massacre tied to an Army sergeant, and riots set off by the burning of Korans by American forces, should the United States stick with its plan to keep troops in place until 2014, or should it withdraw as quickly as possible?

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