Feature / Analysis

 Official: US troop pullout from Afghanistan risks monitoring of billions in civilian projects


WASHINGTON :An accelerating U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan this year and next will raise the risk of ill-advised spending of billions in U.S. funds for the country’s rebuilding, the top auditor of U.S. reconstruction spending said Wednesday. John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for...

 Fewer Afghan troops could yield more Taliban violence, Senate panel told


Reducing the number of Afghan security forces could lead to an increase in Taliban violence inside that country as U.S. forces prepare to leave by the end of 2014, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin said Thursday. Austin was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing to confirm him...

 Afghan Army Trains Women for Special Forces


KABUL, Afghanistan: The Afghan army is training female Special Forces to take part in night raids against insurgents, breaking new ground in an ultraconservative society and filling a vacuum left by departing international forces. "If men can carry out this duty why not women?" asks Lena Abdali, a...

 As U.S. Withdraws Troops, Fears That Afghan Aid Will Dry Up


WASHINGTON: President Obama’s decision to bring home more than half of the American troops in Afghanistan over the next year is setting off intensified debate over an issue with big consequences for Afghanistan’s future: how long the United States and its allies should pour civilian aid into the cou...

 Despite sanctions, U.S. aid to Afghanistan might also be helping Iran


WASHINGTON: The Afghan National Army may have broken the U.S.-led economic embargo against Iran by using American aid to buy Iranian fuel for its military vehicles, generators and cooking processes, according to a military audit and experts on the region. Recent safeguards installed to stop the po...

 Kabul Urged To Protect Sexually Abused Children


A 13-year-old boy has been jailed for having sex in a park with two adult men, the latest case of a victim of a sexual crime being punished in Afghanistan. In October 2012, the boy was convicted of having sex with the men in a park in the western province of Herat and sentenced to a year in juveni...

 In Afghanistan pullout, Pentagon favors phased reduction over 3 years


The Pentagon is pushing a plan that would keep about 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan once the NATO military mission there ends in 2014 but significantly shrink the contingent over the following two years, according to senior U.S. government officials and military officers. The phased-reduction ap...

 Kabul Spa-Goers Stress Need to Relax


New Pool Complex in Afghan Capital Brings Note of Optimism Amid Pre-Pullout Anxiety KABUL: Off a rutted street of Afghanistan's capital on a recent day, just beyond a shoeshine boy and a guard performing pat-downs, Afghans of a certain station were learning how to chill. The new Lajaward Swimming...

 With New Control, General to Focus on Withdrawal in Afghanistan


KABUL, Afghanistan :Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took command of both the American and the international military missions in Afghanistan in a traditional handoff ceremony on Sunday, becoming the 15th general to lead the international command here — and he is expected to be its last. It falls to Gen...

 Afghans flock to India for infertility treatment


New Delhi already has a sizeable Afghan community, but over the past five years a steady trickle of visitors seeking healthcare has grown into a flood. Hospitals have been quick to respond. New Delhi: New Delhi’s Press Enclave Road represents the city’s complex mix of communities like no other: On...

 Outgoing general predicts an Afghanistan liberated from foreign intrigue


The remarks from Gen. John Allen came at a change-of-command ceremony. American Gen. Joseph Dunford now leads NATO's mission in Afghanistan. Kabul, Afghanistan: The US Marine Corps general who will oversee the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan and wind down America's longest war t...

 Rural Afghanistan force with shady reputation may grow


The U.S. plans to extend a financial lifeline from the Pentagon to the Afghan Local Police, implicated in human rights abuses, for at least five more years. WASHINGTON: In an effort to fight the insurgency after U.S. troops leave Afghanistan by the end of next year, officials in Washington and Kabu...

 Climate change pushing water system upgrades


Global climate change is a reality that few people now deny. 2012 was the warmest year on record. So what about Seattle’s water supply? Managers say they need to speed up about $30-million of investment in a backup plan.About two thirds of Seattle’s water comes from one of the most pristine sources ...

 NASA: Alarming water loss in Middle East


DOHA, Qatar: An amount of freshwater almost the size of the Dead Sea has been lost in parts of the Middle East due to poor management, increased demands for groundwater and the effects of a 2007 drought, according to a NASA study.The study, to be published Friday in Water Resources Research, a journ...

 Wind power is now cheaper than coal in some countries


When many countries are choosing their next generation of power stations, they will be tempted to pick wind turbines. Thanks to better design, building wind farms can now be cheaper than building new coal or gas power stations.Figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that this is already the c...

 'There's no way to tell' how much gas the U.S. can produce


About 100 geologists and engineers are completing a new answer to a crucial issue for energy producers, consumers and policymakers: How much natural gas is buried a mile or more down in America's shale rock?Two years ago, this team -- the Potential Gas Committee directed by John Curtis of the Colora...

 Afghanistan, Pakistan Seek A Fatwa Against Suicide Attacks


The Muhammad Mustafa mosque sits in a fairly well-off part of Kabul where government employees and some high-ranking officials live. Muhammad Ehsan Saiqal, a moderate, 54-year-old Muslim who welcomes girls into his Quran classes, is the imam. The slight, gray-bearded cleric preaches against suicide ...

 Rare Afghan fashion show part of effort to empower women


KABUL: Afghan models paraded down a candle-lined catwalk Friday as men and women watched from the audience in a restaurant off a muddy street in Kabul. The rare fashion show in this war-weary capital was a small production but a big idea — part of an Afghan group's efforts to empower women by brea...

 U.S. rejects U.N. report on children killed in Afghanistan


The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child cites reports that U.S. forces killed hundreds of Afghan children in the last four years, which the U.S. calls 'categorically unfounded.' KABUL, Afghanistan: The U.S. military Friday strongly rejected reports cited by a United Nations committee indicati...

 U.S. Sets Stage for Exodus from Afghanistan


MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan: Camp John Pratt is preparing for an invasion. The 880-acre sprawl in this northern city will soon become a parking lot for a decade's worth of American military equipment on the way home. Bulldozers, dump trucks and road graders are shuttling around the camp, rushing t...


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Opinion

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