WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, U.S. officials have pointed to the improvements in the everyday lives of Afghans made possible by billions of dollars in aid from the United States and elsewhere.
In Afghanistan, people now live 20 years longer on average than under Taliban rule, they say; 7 million more children attend school and women are 80 percent less likely to die in childbirth.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Monday deployed about 150 Marines to a base in the Horn of Africa to prepare for possible further evacuations of American citizens from the deepening conflict in South Sudan, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The deployment of a special crisis-response team of Marines, who are normally stationed at Moron Air Base in Spain, follows a thwarted evacuation attempt in South Sudan over the weekend in which four U.S. soldiers were wounded by gunfire.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials have warned of the potential for catastrophe if Afghan President Hamid Karzai fails to sign a security pact to permit foreign forces to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Unless a deal is reached to enable a modest U.S. force of perhaps 8,000 to stay in the country, the Taliban might stage a major comeback, al Qaeda might regain safe havens and Afghan forces might find themselves starved of funding, the officials say. The post-2014 U.S. force envisioned would train and assist Afghan soldiers and go after the most dangerous militants.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is ‘nowhere near’ deciding to pull out all troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday, despite mounting frustration President Hamid Karzai has not signed a security deal allowing the military to remain there after next year.
“I have no doubt that the (bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan) ultimately will be concluded,” Ambassador James Dobbins, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The United States will conduct
a sea test this month of equipment that could be used to
neutralize Syria’s most deadly chemical weapons at sea, U.S.
defense officials said on Thursday.
Two large chemical neutralization units, which employ a
process known as hydrolysis to render toxic chemicals safe
enough to be disposed of at commercial sites, are being
installed below deck on the Cape Ray, a U.S. Merchant Marine
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military could wait months for a political decision on whether troops stay or leave Afghanistan, but delaying a security pact would damage the confidence of Afghan forces and undermine NATO’s plans, the top U.S. military officer said on Wednesday.
The comments by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, came amid an impasse over the security pact, which would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. general in Afghanistan sought to stall an investigation into waste and abuse at a U.S.-funded hospital in Kabul, possibly for political reasons, current and former U.S. military officials told Congress on Tuesday.
Retired Colonel Gerald Carozza, who served as an adviser to the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, accused Lieutenant General William Caldwell, then head of U.S. and NATO efforts to train Afghan security forces, and other senior officials of delaying a military investigation into allegations of corruption and patient abuse at the Dawood National Military Hospital.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the end it was a meeting in a nondescript conference room in Chicago that finally set in motion the long-awaited U.S. apology to Pakistan last week ending a seven-month impasse over NATO supply routes for the Afghan war.
The meeting in late May followed months of clamoring by Islamabad, images of flag-draped coffins on TV, and widespread outcry from Pakistanis incensed by the U.S. air attack that killed 24 of their soldiers on the Afghan border last November.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan and the United States are set to resume broader talks on security cooperation, militant threats, aid and other issues in the wake of an agreement to reopen supply routes into Afghanistan, Pakistan’s envoy to Washington said on Thursday.
But bridging underlying differences that strained U.S.-Pakistani ties close to the breaking point will be daunting as the allies remain at odds over how to handle the twin threats of the Taliban in Afghanistan and militants in Pakistani tribal areas.
KABUL (Reuters) – Former Taliban fighter Mullah Rassoul is a man with few friends.
After he joined a NATO-backed program to pacify lower-level insurgents this year, he says he was harassed by a government-supported militia in his area of north Afghanistan.