China Offers the Taliban a Warm Welcome While Urging Peace Talks

By Steven Lee Myers The New York Times July 28, 2021 Worried about the war in Afghanistan, China has stepped up diplomatic efforts with the government and the group to encourage a political settlement after the U.S. withdrawal. China offered a high-profile public stage to the Taliban on Wednesday, declaring that the group rapidly retaking

China says Taliban expected to play ‘important’ Afghan peace role

Reuters Staff JULY 28, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) -China told a visiting Taliban delegation on Wednesday it expected the insurgent group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding the country, the Chinese foreign ministry said. Nine Taliban representatives met Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on a

Kandahar residents fear Taliban advance on Afghan city

By Ali M Latifi and Abdul Matin Amiri Al Jazeera 28 Jul 2021 Thousands of Afghans displaced and many forced to flee to safer places as the Taliban surrounds Kandahar city. Kandahar, Afghanistan – Last week, Kawsar Sama and her family packed up their belongings and got on a flight to the capital city of Kabul. For the 21-year-old

Taliban Takeover Would Make Afghanistan ‘Pariah State’: Blinken

 TOLOnews TV Network 28 July 2021 The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday told reporters in India that Afghanistan would become a “pariah state” if the government commits atrocities against its own population. “An Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people

Americans evenly divided on whether Afghanistan War was a mistake: Gallup

BY MYCHAEL SCHNELL The Hill  07/26/21  © Getty Images Americans are evenly divided on whether the war in Afghanistan was a mistake, as the U.S.’s troop withdrawal from the region nears completion. Gallup reported on Monday that 47 percent of Americans believe U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was a mistake, while 46 percent support the mission. President

Taliban claims to favour ‘settlement’. Can it be trusted?

By Ali M Latifi Al Jazeera 27 Jul 2021 The armed group says it wants a ‘political settlement’, but its fighters continue to press ahead with military campaigns on the ground. Kabul, Afghanistan – The Taliban leadership has reiterated that they want a “political settlement” to the Afghan conflict, but the swift military gains made by the

Afghanistan faces worsening food crisis amid conflict, droughts

Afghanistan Times AT News July 27, 2021 KABUL: Officials are warning that the country will slip into food crisis because of the conflict and droughts with millions of people in vulnerable areas at risks of food shortage. Afghans are in dire straits facing food insecurity due to the conflict and droughts, and this situation calls

NATO Chief Reiterates Support for Afghanistan

Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 27 July 2021 This comes as the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) continue to fight the Taliban in at least 20 provinces. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said there is a need for a political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan. “The security situation in Afghanistan

Afghan Civilian Casualties Soar as U.S. Exits, Monitors Say

By Adam Nossiter and Taimoor Shah The New York Times July 26, 2021, 7:07 a.m. ET Detentions and summary executions of those accused of colluding with the Kabul government were also reported, with the Taliban found to be largely responsible. Bouquets of flowers sat on empty desks as a tribute to those killed in the bombing outside the

Afghan soldiers seek refuge in Pakistan after losing border military posts

By Asif Shahzad Reuters July 26, 2021 ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Forty-six Afghan soldiers sought refuge in Pakistan after losing control of military positions across the border following advances by Taliban insurgents, Pakistan’s army said on Monday. Hundreds of Afghan army soldiers and civil officials have fled to neighbouring Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan in recent weeks

The Taliban explained

Al Jazeera 25 July 2021 The armed group has emerged as a strong player as US-led foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan after 20 years. The Taliban have won a string of battlefield victories in recent weeks as the United States-led foreign forces are about to complete pull-out from Afghanistan after 20 years. The armed

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Hit Record Levels: UN

Sonil Haidari ToloNews 26 July 2021 Civilian casualties have increased 47 percent in the last six months, the UN said in a report.   Resulting from a spike in violence in May that corresponded with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the civilian casualties reported in the country for the first half of 2021 have

First task for Afghan forces is to slow Taliban’s momentum -Pentagon chief

Idrees Ali Reuters July 24, 2021 U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin answers reporters questions at the Pentagon as the U.S. military nears the formal end of its mission in Afghanistan in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. July 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska July 24 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on

U.S. General Won’t Commit to Ending Airstrikes on Taliban

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times July 25, 2021, 4:58 p.m. ET With the militants making advances across Afghanistan, the top American general there suggested that airstrikes may continue, even with the U.S. troop pullout largely completed. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie at a news conference in Kabul on Sunday.Credit…Sajjad Hussain/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images KABUL, Afghanistan

China, Pakistan Call for Afghan Ceasefire, Political Settlement

TOLOnews TV Network 25 July 2021 The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to support and facilitate the Afghan peace process. Pakistan and China foreign ministers on Saturday called on all warring parties in Afghanistan to agree on a comprehensive ceasefire and work together to achieve a broad-based, inclusive and negotiated political settlement. Foreign Minister Shah

Next High-Level Meeting on Peace Expected in August

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 25 July 2021 The first meeting was held on July 16 and lasted for two days, during which delegates agreed to continue their meetings. The next meeting of high-level delegations from both the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban will take place at the beginning of next month, sources close

Afghanistan imposes night curfew to curb Taliban advance

Al Jazeera 24 July 2021 Thirty-one of the country’s 34 provinces to be under 10pm to 4am curfew, the interior ministry announces. Afghanistan’s government has imposed a night-time curfew across almost all of the country’s 34 provinces to stem surging violence unleashed by a sweeping Taliban offensive that has seen the armed group make rapid

UN Warns of Expanding Threat from Daesh, al Qaeda in Afghanistan

TOLOnews  TV Network 24 July 2021 UN report says al Qaeda operates under Taliban protection from Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, the report says. The United Nations in a new report is warning that the threat from terror groups such as Daesh and al Qaeda is expanding in many places in Afghanistan where the security

Biden Authorizes $100M in Emergency Funds for Afghan Refugees

TOLOnews TV Network 24 July 2021 Such assistance may be provided on a bilateral or multilateral basis as appropriate, the White House says. US President Joe Biden on Friday authorized $100 million from an emergency fund to meet “unexpected urgent” refugee needs as a result of the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration

US Airstrikes Target Taliban, Military Equipment in Afghanistan 

By Jeff Seldin VOA/Voice of America July 22, 2021 06:22 PM FILE – Afghan forces inspect the site of a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz city, Afghanistan, Oct. 2, 2015. The U.S. has launched several airstrikes across Afghanistan in the past 30 days, a defense official told VOA on July 22, 2021. The United States has

In a city besieged by the Taliban, Afghan military advances disappear with forces stretched thin

Story by Susannah George, Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli The Washington Post July 22, 2021 Elite Afghan forces conduct a clearing operation in an area under Taliban control on the northern edge of Kunduz city, Afghanistan, on July 15. KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — The argument between Afghan security forces erupted two miles inside Taliban-controlled territory, piercing the near-complete

U.S. Strikes Taliban Targets in a Show of Force in Afghanistan

By Adam Nossiter and Eric Schmitt The New York Times July 23, 2021 Updated 9:01 p.m. ET The airstrikes showed American willingness to back up beleaguered Afghan government forces as the Taliban advance, but the extent of that willingness remains unclear. The view from a police and army outpost in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province in March. The U.S. military

Taliban: ‘No one wants a civil war’ in Afghanistan

Al Jazeera 23 Jul 2021 The Taliban says it does not want to monopolise power but insists there will not be peace in Afghanistan until there is a new negotiated government in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani is removed. In an interview with The Associated Press news agency, Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, who is also

Tajikistan Ready to Receive up to 100,000 Afghan Refugees

TOLOnews TV Network 23 July 2021 A senior Tajik official says Tajikistan is already building two large warehouses to store supplies for refugees. Tajikistan is preparing to receive up to 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan where violence has increased as international troops are leaving, a senior Tajik official said on Friday as quoted by Reuters. This

Taliban Seeks Agreement on New Govt Before Any Ceasefire

TOLOnews TV Network 23 July 2021 Shaheen says before any ceasefire, there must be an agreement on a new government “acceptable to us and to other Afghans.” A Taliban spokesman has said they don’t want to monopolize power but insisted that there won’t be peace in Afghanistan until there is a new negotiated government in

Journalism is sacred work’: Afghanistan’s front line reporters

By Robyn Huang and Matt Reichel Al Jazeera 21 Jul 2021 Afghanistan ranks as one of the world’s worst countries for journalism. Yet despite targeted killings and an uncertain future, reporters are not turning away from the profession. Kabul, Afghanistan – It was about 8am on a Monday morning in April 2018 when Bushra Seddique felt the multi-storey apartment building

Russian Envoy: Taliban Ready for Political Settlement

Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 21 July 2021 “Until now there are no indications that they are willing to seek a political settlement or to stop violence and destruction,” said MP Sadiq Qaderi. Russian envoy Zamir Kabulov said that the Talban’s violence has increased but the group is ready to seek a political settlement for the

U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan face daunting, dangerous mission with little military backup

Missy Ryan, Karen DeYoung and Dan Lamothe The Washington Post July 18, 2021 The U.S. Embassy dominates the skyline in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul/AP) The conclusion of the Pentagon’s two-decade effort in Afghanistan lays bare the challenges facing U.S. diplomats and aid workers who remain behind, as a modest civilian force attempts to propel warring Afghans toward

George W Bush warns of ‘bad’ outcome of US Afghanistan pullout

Al Jazeera 20 July 2021 Women and girls are at risk of ‘unspeakable harm’ Bush says as the Taliban claims it controls most of Afghanistan. Former United States President George W Bush, who initiated the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, has warned the US and NATO military withdrawal now speeding to a conclusion will

The Biden administration is sending Afghan visa applicants to an Army base in Virginia.

By Eric Schmitt The New York Times July 19, 2021 WASHINGTON — The Biden administration plans to evacuate an initial group of Afghans who helped the United States during the 20-year war and who now face reprisals from the Taliban to an Army base in Virginia in the coming days, the State and Defense Departments said

Foreign missions in Kabul issue joint call for Taliban ceasefire

Al Jazeera 19 Jul 2021 Fifteen diplomatic missions call for ‘urgent end’ to offensives, hours after Doha meeting failed to agree on a ceasefire. Fifteen diplomatic missions and the NATO representative in Kabul have joined hands to urge the Taliban to halt military offensives across Afghanistan, just hours after a peace meeting in Doha failed to agree

Taliban Sought Prisoner Release, Blacklisted Names Removed

Massoud Ansar, TOLOnews Reporter 20 July 2021 Noor said the Afghan government will not repeat its previous act–of releasing 5,000 inmates–which did not help in reducing violence. Atta Mohammad Noor, an Afghan politician who attended the two-day negotiations with the Taliban delegation in Doha, said the group sought the release of more prisoners and the

Back to Militias, the Chaotic Afghan Way of War

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Najim Rahim The New York Times Photographs by Jim Huylebroek July 18, 2021 Concerned by the Taliban’s offensive, regional power brokers are again recruiting and arming volunteer militias. But some fear the quick fix will lead to a wider breakdown MAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan—Omid Wahidi was born after the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. His

Republic, Taliban Delegations Agree to Expedite Peace Efforts; Taliban Leader Says Group Wants ‘Political Solution’

TOLOnews TV Network 18 July 2021 The two sides issued a short joint statement in which they agreed to continue high level talks on peace. High-ranking delegations from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban concluded two days of negotiations and agreed to expedite the peace efforts and continue high-level talks, but fallen short

Women’s groups call for UN peacekeeping force in Afghanistan

By Edith M. Lederer | AP July 16, 2021 The Washington Post Women wait inside a factory to get their oxygen cylinders refilled from a privately owned oxygen factory, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 19, 2021. Health officials say Afghanistan is fast running out of oxygen as a deadly third surge of COVID worsen. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Taliban offer 3-month ceasefire in return for prisoner release; Taliban’s political office says it did not suggest a truce in Doha talks

Reuters Staff JULY 18, 2021 (Reuters) – A spokesman for the Taliban’s political office told Al Jazeera TV on Sunday that the group did not suggest an Afghan truce during the Doha talks. “We did not present in the Doha talks a proposal for a three-month truce,” the spokesman told the Qatar-based channel. He added

China Criticized the Afghan War. Now It Worries About the Withdrawal.

By Steven Lee Myers The New York Times July 15, 2021 An explosion that killed Chinese workers in Pakistan has stirred fears in Beijing of regional instability. Kabul, Afghanistan, this month. Statements by senior Chinese officials made it clear that they would blame the United States for any insecurity that spreads in the region.Credit…Jim Huylebroek

ANDSF Retakes Three Districts in Last 24 Hours: MoD

Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 16 July 2021 Afghan forces retook the control of Kahmard and Saighan districts in Bamiyan, the Defense Ministry says. As clashes continue in various provinces, the Defense Ministry said on Friday that Afghan National Defense and Security Forces retook the control of Saighan and Kahmard districts in Bamiyan and Chakhansur district

Afghan Politicians Leave Kabul for Talks with Taliban in Doha

TOLOnews TV Network 16 July 2021 Abdullah said the delegation that will meet the Taliban delegation is inclusive and represents all of Afghanistan.  A 10-member team of key Afghan politicians left Kabul on Friday afternoon for a trip to Doha to hold talks with the Taliban amidst escalating violence in Afghanistan.  Abdullah Abdullah, head of

Afghanistan stunned by scale and speed of security forces’ collapse

Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul The Guardian Tue 13 Jul 2021  More than 1,000 have fled across the border, and hundreds more have handed over weapons to the Taliban Afghan soldiers patrol the area near a checkpoint recaptured from the Taliban in the Alishing district of Laghman province. Photograph: Reuters Last autumn, with the departure of American

Moscow tightens screws on Kabul, accuses it ‘hypocrisy’ in Taliban talks

Afghanistan Times  July 14, 2021 AT News the Afghan government of hypocrisy as it has resumed long-stalled talked with the Taliban, calling on Kabul to start proper negotiations before it was too late. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan, said that Afghan government only pretended to pursue peace talks with the

Afghan Taliban seize border crossing with Pakistan in major advance

Abdul Sediqi, Orooj Hakimi Reuters July 14, 20213:34 PM EDT People stand in front of a vehicle as an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and a Pakistan’s flag flutter in front of the friendship gate of Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Wesh-Chaman border crossing, Spin Boldak, Afghanistan July 14, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from

Fear and Misery in an Afghan City Where Taliban Stalk the Streets

By Adam Nossiter and Najim Rahim The New York Times July 14, 2021Updated 11:28 a.m. ET For weeks, the northern city of Kunduz has suffered daily street battles. Times journalists were there to document a cat-and-mouse war for control. The main square in Kunduz, Afghanistan.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — The Afghan way of

The U.S. will help evacuate endangered Afghan nationals starting in late July.

By Glenn Thrush, Adam Nossiter and Eric Schmitt New York Times July 14, 2021 Former Afghan interpreters, who worked with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, demonstrated in Kabul last month.Credit…Reuters The Biden administration will begin “Operation Allies Refuge” in the last week in July to support the airlift of Afghan nationals who aided the United States and are endangered

UN Agency Warns of Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

TOLOnews TV Network 14 July 2021 An estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021, UNHCR said.  The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned over a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan due to ongoing violence in the country.  An estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since

Taliban surround central Afghan city of Ghazni – officials

Reuters Staff JULY 12, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) -Taliban fighters have surrounded the city of Ghazni in central Afghanistan, taking over civilians’ homes to fight security forces, officials said on Monday, the latest urban centre under threat from the insurgents. The offensive was the latest on a provincial capital as the Taliban make a fresh push

Top U.S. General Steps Down in Afghanistan

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times July 13, 2021 Gen. Austin S. Miller is leaving as the United States prepares to end its two-decade war in Afghanistan, and as Taliban fighters sweep across much of the country. Gen. Austin S. Miller greets Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, the Afghanistan defense minister, during the change of

New, Civilized Afghan Taliban May Prefer Peace Talks: Rashid

TOLOnews TV Network 12 July 2021 Islamabad will accept any govt in Afghanistan that has the backing of the Afghan people, Pakistan Interior Minister said.  Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that “new, civilized Afghan Taliban” will prefer the peace talks and that Islamabad will accept any government in Afghanistan that has the support

Iran cheers U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — but fears what could follow

Miriam Berger The Washington Post July 10, 2021 As Western forces exit Afghanistan, Iran is watching with alarm. The resolution of one long-standing aim, the withdrawal of U.S. troops, is unleashing a separate challenge: what to do about the Taliban, another longtime problem for Iran, swiftly regaining power and territory next door. The Afghan government

Taliban say they control 85% of Afghanistan, humanitarian concerns mount

July 10, 2021 12:57 PM EDT Reuters KABUL/ MOSCOW, July 9 (Reuters) – Taliban officials said on Friday the Sunni Muslim insurgent group had taken control of 85% of territory in Afghanistan, and international concern mounted over problems getting medicines and supplies into the country. Afghan government officials dismissed the assertion that the Taliban controlled

Taliban Opposed to Turkey’s Running of Airport Security

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 11 July 2021 Civil Aviation Authority says a new defense system has been activated at Hamid Karzai International Airport. The Taliban on Sunday announced its opposition to an agreement between the US and Turkey for the latter to take over security of Hamid Karzai International Airport, with a spokesman of

AP Interview: Afghan warlord slams govt, quick US goodbye

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press July 9, 2021 Ata Mohammad Noor, chief of Jamiat-e-Islami and a powerful northern warlord, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his house in Mazar-e-Sharif north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 8, 2021. One of the most powerful warlords of northern Afghanistan and a key US ally in

Taliban Enter Kandahar City and Seize Border Posts

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times July 9, 2021 The insurgent assaulted a vital city in Afghanistan’s south on Friday, less than 24 hours after President Biden reaffirmed his decision to withdraw from the country. Afghan security forces guarding a road during fighting with the Taliban in Kandahar on Friday.Credit…Javed Tanveer/Agence France-Presse — Getty

Negotiators in Doha Held Talks on Five Key Issues

Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 10 July 2021 Ceasefire and a future constitution have been part of key issues discussed in the meetings, sources said.   Peace delegations from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held a series of talks over the past few days with the talks reportedly focused on at least five

After troops exit, safety of US Embassy in Kabul top concern

Kathy Gannon The Associated Press 6 July 2021 KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — As the end to America’s “forever war” rapidly approaches, the U.S. Embassy and other diplomatic missions in Kabul are watching a worsening security situation and looking at how to respond. In the countryside, districts are falling to the Taliban in rapid succession. America’s warlord allies

Taliban Says It Will Not Attack Provincial Centers

TOLOnews TV Network 9 July 2021 Sources on Friday said that the Taliban attacked District 7 of the city of Kandahar and captured two outposts. A Taliban delegation in Moscow said on Friday that it will not attack provincial centers – despite fighting by the group on the outskirts of many cities, including Qala-e-Naw in

US speeds Afghanistan withdrawal as Biden sets August deadline

Al Jazeera July 2021 President Biden says peace in Afghanistan can only come through renewed talks with Taliban even as fighting escalates. United States President Joe Biden said on Thursday the US military would complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, ahead of schedule, and dismissed mounting concerns about a civil war developing in

Taliban fighters capture key Afghan border crossing with Iran

Reuters Staff JULY 8, 2021  KABUL (Reuters) -Taliban fighters seized control on Thursday of a key district in western Afghanistan that includes a major border crossing with Iran, Afghan security officials said, as the Islamist insurgents continued their rapid military advances around the country. In the last week, the Taliban have overrun areas bordering five

Biden makes his case on U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban gain ground.

By David E. Sanger and Aishvarya Kavi The New York Times July 8, 2021, 8:16 a.m. ET President Joe Biden delivered remarks on continued drawdown efforts in Afghanistan at the White House on Thursday.Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times President Biden made an impassioned case on Thursday that the United States could no longer afford the human cost or

Taliban, Afghan Delegates in Iran Agree ‘War Is Not Solution’

 TOLOnews TV Network 8 July 2021 The delegates also agreed to hold talks in a “cordial atmosphere” and to hold the next meeting soon. The Taliban delegation and a group of Afghan politicians in Tehran agreed during their meetings on Wednesday and Thursday that war was not the solution to the Afghan problem and that

Chaos in Afghanistan raises stakes for Russia

Afghanistan Times July 7, 2021 AT News KABUL: As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, Russia is becoming exponentially troubled by worsening security situation in the country and is trying to step in to shore up sagging defences of its allies bordering Afghanistan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday expressed Kremlin’s extreme worries about

Taliban Attack a Provincial Capital in Afghanistan’s North, Freeing Prisoners

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Asad Timory The New York Times July 7, 2021  Continuing their offensive, the Taliban forces seemed poised to overrun the city, though Afghan airstrikes slowed the assault. Afghan soldiers at the front line of fighting between Taliban and security forces on Wednesday, in Badghis Province in northwest Afghanistan.Credit…Mirwis Omari/Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan —

Taliban looted, torched Afghan homes after evicting residents: Human Rights Watch

By Reuters Staff JULY 7, 2021 3:01 PM WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan last month evicted families and looted and torched their homes in apparent retaliation for cooperating with the Kabul government, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. The “retaliatory attacks” were committed by insurgents participating in a Taliban offensive that has

Taliban, Afghan Leaders in Tehran to Discuss Peace Process

Haseeba Atakpal, Tolo News 7 July 2021 The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, Mohammad Naeem, on Twitter said that the Taliban delegation will hold talks with the Iranian officials on bilateral issues. A Taliban delegation led by the group’s negotiator Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai is in Tehran where the delegation met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad

Afghanistan: ‘End this failed mission’ says former Afghan president Hamid Karzai as he blames US and its allies for rise in terrorism

By Alex Crawford, special correspondent, and Kevin Sheppard, cameraman, from Kabul Afghanistan Times  July 6, 2021 Former president Hamid Karzai doesn’t hold back any punches on who is to blame for the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai said he felt disrespected by the US A stream of politicians, ambassadors, world leaders and business people

Taliban Try to Polish Their Image as They Push for Victory

By Najim Rahim and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times July 6, 2021 Updated 5:08 p.m. ET The insurgents are trying to rebrand themselves as effective governors as they capture new territory. But there is more evidence that they are unreformed. Members of the Taliban in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan last March.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York

Taliban aim to present written peace plan at talks as soon as next month

Reuters 6 July 2021 KABUL, July 5 (Reuters) – The Taliban plan to present a written peace proposal to the Afghan government side as soon as next month, a spokesman for the Islamist insurgents said even as they make major territorial gains in the breach left by departing foreign forces. Hundreds of Afghan security force

Qatar Envoy in Kabul to Help Restart Doha Talks

Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 6 July 2021 Qatar intends to speed up the Afghan peace process with their appointment of a special envoy to Afghanistan. Qatar’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan arrived in Kabul on Tuesday where he met a number of senior Afghan political leaders including former president Hamid Karzai to discuss how to expedite

Afghan War Causes Record Bloodshed Amid US Troop Exit 

By Ayaz Gul Voice of America July 01, 2021 09:46 PM An Afghan commando forces armored convoy leaves toward the front line, at Ghorband district, Parwan province, Afghanistan, June 29, 2021. ISLAMABAD – The simmering war in Afghanistan, if official accounts are to be accepted, has killed more people last month than in any other

On eve of military exit, U.S. names Afghanistan among world’s worst on human trafficking

Missy Ryan The Washington Post July 2, 2021 Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks on the July 1 release of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report at the State Department. (Ken Cedeno/Reuters) The State Department named Afghanistan among the countries with the world’s poorest records on human trafficking for the second year in a

‘What was the point?’ Afghans rue decades of war as U.S. quits Bagram

Reuters 3 July 2021 Afghans worry about security as U.S. exits KABUL, July 3 (Reuters) – As American troops left their main military base in Afghanistan on Friday, marking a symbolic end to the longest war in U.S. history, locals living in the shadow of the base and in nearby Kabul were left ruing the

Gen. McKenzie to Lead US’s Mission in Afghanistan

TOLOnews TV Network 3 July 2021 Gen. Miller to transfer his combat authorities to Gen. Frank McKenzie.   US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a new command structure in Afghanistan that includes the transition of US military mission from warfighting to two new objectives: protecting a continuing US diplomatic presence in Kabul and maintaining

13 Districts Fall to Taliban in 24 Hours

Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 3 July 2021 The Defense Ministry says that 224 Taliban were killed in Afghan forces operations in the last 24 hours.  Sources said Saturday that the control of 13 districts – 11 districts in northeastern Afghanistan, one in the east and one in the south – have fallen to the Taliban

As Western forces pack bags in Afghanistan, aid agencies brace for new round of displacement

Miriam Berger The Washington Post July 2, 2021 Afghan refugees receive assistance in Quetta, Pakistan, on June 28. (Jamal Taraqai/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) Four decades after the first wave of Afghan refugees fled in the face of a Soviet invasion, and nearly 20 years after a U.S.-led invasion transformed life in the country, humanitarian agencies say they are

As the Taliban gain ground, how long can the U.S. Embassy in Kabul stand?

By NAHAL TOOSI and LARA SELIGMAN Politico 07/02/2021 12:27 PM EDT An embassy “Emergency Action Plan” warns of scenarios likely to arise as Afghanistan’s security deteriorates. Afghan National Army cadets dressed as Taliban walk back to base following a Taliban capture military exercise in Kabul, Afghanistan. | Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images The situation in Afghanistan is grim. An occupying

Daesh Building Up Forces in Northern Afghanistan: Lavrov

 TOLOnews  TV Network 2 July 2021 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says it is important to pay attention to Afghanistan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said that Daesh militants are building up their forces in northern Afghanistan as US and NATO troops are leaving the country, calling it a worry for Moscow. Quoted

U.S. Leaves Its Last Afghan Base, Effectively Ending Operations

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times July 2, 2021 Updated 11:56 a.m. ET With little fanfare, Bagram Air Base — once the military’s nerve center — was handed over to the Afghans, after nearly 20 years of waging war from the hub. An American soldier in 2019 at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New

As Afghan Forces Crumble, an Air of Unreality Grips the Capital

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times July 2, 2021Updated 12:05 p.m. ET With the Taliban advancing and U.S. troops leaving, President Ashraf Ghani and his aides have become increasingly insular, and Kabul is slipping into shock. A park in Kabul on Friday afternoon.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times KABUL, Afghanistan — With his military

What’s next for the Afghan air force? Learning to fix aircraft via Zoom.

J.P. LAWRENCE STARS AND STRIPES JUNE 29, 2021 An Afghan air force technician maintains a helicopter for an early morning takeoff from Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan in 2013. Afghan maintainers said theyve been practicing remote assistance video calls for two months, in anticipation of most U.S-funded maintenance contractors departing the country soon. (Benjamin Bloker/U.S. Air

Scarred by May school bombing, Afghanistan’s Hazaras fear what awaits them as Taliban gains ground

Pamela Constable The Washington Post July 1, 2021 A mural in Kabul memorializes the scores of girls killed in a school bombing. Some could be identified only by their shoes. (Pamela Constable/The Washington Post) KABUL — The pair of bloodstained girls’ sneakers, painted on a wall in downtown Kabul, serves as a grim reminder of

U.S. Questioned Whether Afghan Government Could Survive Taliban Onslaught

By Jack Detsch, Foreign Policy’s Pentagon and national security reporter, and Robbie Gramer, a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. JUNE 30, 2021, 10:52 AM Biden to boost aid to Kabul as the militants capture more territory. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on June 25. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES The

Western forces pack up to end their war, Afghans “manage the consequences”

Reuters staff JULY 1, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan scrap dealers are picking over the detritus of the two-decade U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, collecting whatever they can of value from heaps of broken military hardware, scrapped machines and old furniture. While the scrap men search through junk outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan,

June Deadliest Month in Afghanistan in Two Decades

Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 1 July 2021 The majority of casualties were reported in Baghlan, Faryab, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Takhar, Balkh, Ghor, Herat, Farah, Kunduz, Badghis and Sar-e-Pul provinces. Afghan authorities claim that the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) have killed over 6,000 Taliban fighters in approximately one month, and the Taliban has said

Poppy Cultivation Up 45 Percent in Afghanistan: Ministry

Fariba Sadat Tolo News 1 July 2021 “They are not treating it in the right way, they just keep us there for a specific period of time,” said Ali, referring to treatment programs for addicts. The deputy minister of counter-narcotics on Thursday said that poppy cultivation and drug smuggling has increased by 45 percent in

Afghan civilians take up arms as U.S.-led forces leave

Reuters staff JUNE 30, 2021 PARWAN, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Gun in hand, 55-year-old Dost Mohammad Salangi recites poetry as he leads a small group of men to a look-out post high in the rugged hills of Parwan province, north of the Afghan capital Kabul. Heavily bearded and wearing a traditional circular pakol hat to keep

U.S. military days away from completing Afghan withdrawal

By Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali Reuters 29 June 2021 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military appears just days away from completing its withdrawal from Afghanistan, well ahead of the Sept. 11 deadline set by President Joe Biden to end America’s longest war, U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The withdrawal of

Afghanistan’s Survival in Jeopardy: Abdullah

Sonil Haidari Tolo News 30 June 2021 “The truth is today that the survival, security and unity of Afghanistan is in danger.” Abdullah said.   Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), at the council’s leadership committee meeting at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday said that “the survival of Afghanistan is in

As the U.S. Pulls Out of Afghanistan, Kabul’s Airport Is a Final Stand

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper The New York Times 30 June 2021 With the main allied military air base about to close, negotiations are underway with Turkey about continuing to secure the civilian airport as the Taliban advance across the country. Hamid Karzai International Airport is crucial to the United States and allied countries maintaining a

U.S. military commander in Afghanistan warns of chaotic civil war

Pamela Constable The Washington Post June 30, 2021 Army Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, the United States’ top commander in Afghanistan, speaks to journalists at the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul on June 29. (Ahmad Seir/Associated Press) KABUL — The top American military commander in Afghanistan expressed deep concern Tuesday that the country could slide into

Top US general says security in Afghanistan deteriorating

By Kathy Gannon | AP June 29, 2021 at 11:21 a.m. EDT U.S. Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, the U.S.’s top general in Afghanistan, speaks to journalists at the Resolute Support headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Miller on Tuesday gave a sobering assessment of the country’s deteriorating security situation as America winds down its

Taliban fighters launch attack on Ghazni, clash with Afghan troops; Violence intensifies across Afghanistan’s central and northern provinces

By Reuters Staff June 29, 2021  9:45 AM GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Taliban fighters have launched an attack on Ghazni, clashing with Afghan forces and using explosives in an attempt to seize the central Afghan city, local officials said on Tuesday. The assault on Ghazni, on the highway linking the capital Kabul with the southern

The House plans a vote to speed visas for Afghans who helped the U.S. government.

By Luke Broadwater New York Times June 29, 2021, 8:34 a.m. ET Afghans who had worked as translators for the U.S. government protested outside the American embassy in Kabul on Friday.Credit…Mariam Zuhaib/Associated Press Rushing to help Afghans who face retribution for working alongside American troops in their home country, the House is scheduled to vote on Tuesday

Even the Taliban are surprised at how fast they’re advancing in Afghanistan

By Dan De Luce, Mushtaq Yusufzai and Saphora Smith NBC News June 25, 2021, 4:30 AM EDT Even the Taliban are taken aback at how fast their forces are moving, one commander said, and have slowed down in some cases to avoid offending the U.S. WASHINGTON — The Taliban are advancing at lightning speed across Afghanistan as U.S. troops withdraw.

Taliban says has right to react if US troops stay in Afghanistan

By Al Jazeera Staff 25 Jun 2021 A spokesman tells Al Jazeera if Washington keeps 650 soldiers past the September 11 deadline, it will be a ‘clear violation’ of the agreement. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview that the armed group has the “right to react” if the United States

On the Front Line: A Night With Afghan Commandos

Photographs and Text by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times 25 June 2021 On a recent night raid, a Times photographer captured Afghanistan’s elite forces as they disrupted Taliban operations in one of the country’s most volatile provinces. SOMEWHERE OVER HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As the city lights faded and the Soviet-era military helicopter banked over

As the last American forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, Biden says the country’s fate is in its own hands

Anne Gearan and Missy Ryan The Washington Post   June 25, 2021 at 6:38 p.m. EDT President Biden meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the Oval Office on June 25. (Susan Walsh/APP President Biden pledged Friday that the United States will remain committed to Afghanistan after American forces leave the country, but said that

US to keep about 650 troops in Afghanistan after withdrawal

By Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns | AP The Washington Post June 24, 2021 at 5:26 p.m. EDT FILE – In this April 29, 1975, file photo the helicopter zone at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, showing last minute evacuation of authorized personnel and civilians. With U.S. and NATO forces under a Sept. 11, 2021, deadline

Afghan Government Could Collapse Six Months After U.S. Withdrawal, New Intelligence Assessment Says

By Gordon Lubold and Yaroslav Trofimov Wall Street Journal Updated June 23, 2021 4:10 pm ET Taliban advances prompt agencies to revise outlook for how long Kabul can hold out KABUL—The U.S. intelligence community concluded last week that the government of Afghanistan could collapse as soon as six months after the American military withdrawal from

UN urges world to push Afghanistan from battlefield to talks

By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press June 22, 2021 Afghan men prays near the grave of their relatives killed in bombings near Syed Al-Shahada School last month at cemetery on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. After the collapse of the Taliban 20 years ago, Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras began to flourish and

U.S. to Move Afghans Who Aided Troops to Third Countries

By Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt The New York Times June 24, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET The move is meant to place interpreters and others who worked with departing American forces somewhere safe until visas for them to enter the United States are processed. U.S. soldiers spoke with villagers through an interpreter in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in 2009.

Taliban Take 7 District Centers in Past 24 Hours

Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 24 June 2021 “Security forces in Gurizwan evacuated the area due to a lack of communication,” said Abdul Ahad Elbek, a member of Faryab’s provincial council. The Taliban have seized the centers of at least seven districts in Faryab, Baghlan, Uruzgan, Logar and Ghazni provinces in the past 24 hours, according

Afghan president set to visit White House as security situation in his country worsens

Leo Shane III Military 22 June 2021 An Afghan army Humvee patrols Kunduz city, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan on June 21, 2021. (Abdullah Sahil/AP) As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani prepares to visit the White House this week, Pentagon leaders are emphasizing that plans to withdraw U.S. military forces from the country remain unchanged, despite

‘Taliban now control over 100 districts in Afghanistan’

Afghanistan Times June 23, 2021  AT News KABUL: The Taliban now control more than 100 districts across Afghanistan with more territories falling to the insurgents every day, a report by the Long War Journal said Tuesday. Since early May of this year, Afghanistan has been subject to a substantial increase in Taliban attacks with security

Taliban Attacks Prove Group Has Not Changed: Ghani Aide

Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 22 June 2021   “Talib is the one who kills journalists, religious scholars. Talib is the one who goes everywhere and destroys bridges, schools and clinics,” Omer said.  Following repeated attacks by the Taliban in various parts of the country, particularly in the north, President Ghani’s senior adviser Waheed Omer said

Afghanistan’s air force is a rare U.S.-backed success story. It may soon fail

Nabih Bulos Los Angeles Times (TNS) Jun 20, 2021 SHAH WALI KOT, Afghanistan — The UH-60 Blackhawk plummeted like a roller coaster from 10,000 feet — safe from whatever the Taliban was firing at it — all the way down to 50 feet, its nose almost licking the sun-scorched terrain of the Shah Wali Kot.

Attacked and Vulnerable, Some Afghans Are Forming Their Own Armies

By David Zucchino and Fatima Faizi The New York Times June 23, 2021 With U.S. troops leaving, the Taliban advancing, and a steady collapse of security force bases and outposts, the Hazara and other ethnic groups in Afghanistan are raising militias. Members of the Resistance for Justice Movement, an armed militia  of Hazara fighters, preparing to patrol

US Can Provide Over-the-Horizon Support to Afghanistan: Pentagon

TOLOnews TV Network 21 June 2021 Pentagon spokesman says the withdrawal schedule “could fluctuate as conditions change.    The US military “can already provide the over-the-horizon support that the Afghan government will need,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said Monday, adding that the United States leaders continually assess the progress of the retrograde from Afghanistan

Death of famed Afghan commander in Taliban massacre highlights the country’s struggles and fears

Pamela Constable The Washington Post June 20, 2021 A color guard leads the cortege in Kabul on June 19 for Afghan Col. Sohrab Azimi, whose coffin is mounted on a tank. Azimi and 22 other special forces members were killed by the Taliban on June 16 while defending a base in northern Afghanistan. (Pam Constable/for

Militias in Afghanistan’s north are taking up the fight against the Taliban

Pamela Constable and Ezzatullah Mehrdad The Washington Post June 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EDT Afghan special forces, seen after they clashed with Taliban fighters in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, on June 22. (Reuters) KABUL — A sweeping Taliban offensive across northern Afghanistan, unchecked by overstretched government forces, has triggered a sudden resurgence of anti-Taliban militias

“A Future of One’s Own”: One young woman’s struggle to thrive in modern Herat

S Reza Kazemi Afghanistan Analysts Network  21 Jun 2021  At a time when the future of Afghanistan as a state and society is deeply uncertain, we bring to you an in-depth case study of the life choices of one university graduate who has grown up on the outskirts of the country’s northwestern city of Herat.

Biden to meet with Afghan President Ghani as violence surges

Humeyra Pamukuters Reuters June 20, 2021 Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani gestures during celebrations to mark Afghan New Year (Newroz), in Kabul, Afghanistan March 21, 2021. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will meet at the White House with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council

Taliban Enter Key Cities in Afghanistan’s North After Swift Offensive

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Najim Rahim The New York Times June 20, 2021 The setbacks come at a harrowing moment for Afghanistan, just as American and international troops are set to leave the country in coming weeks. A military base on a hilltop near Kunduz in 2015 littered with old Russian tanks.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times

Departure of U.S. Contractors Poses Myriad Problems for Afghan Military

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt The New York Times Published June 19, 2021Updated June 20, 2021, 3:51 p.m. ET It is not just U.S. troops who are withdrawing from Afghanistan. Thousands of private contractors — who help keep the Afghan Air Force flying, among other tasks — are leaving as well. American contractors repairing an Afghan Air Force

Key Afghan Delegation to Meet Taliban in Doha: Sources

Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 18 June 2021 Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai will also be part of the team, sources said. A six-member team from the Afghan Republic comprising key political leaders, including the reconciliation council’s chief Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai, is expected to travel to Doha within the next

Elite Afghan Forces Suffer Horrific Casualties as Taliban Advance

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Najim Rahim The New York Times June 17, 2021 At least 24 commandos were killed in one battle in the Afghan north, and that kind of stark loss is playing out across the country: “We mourn. The Taliban celebrate. And it hurts too much.” Members of the Afghan Special Forces in Helmand Province

Austin: Al-Qaida could regroup in Afghanistan in 2 years

By Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor | AP The Washington Post June 17, 2021 at 3:51 p.m. EDT Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Thursday, June 17, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP) WASHINGTON — An extremist group like al-Qaida may be able to regenerate in

US locks down embassy in Afghanistan amid COVID-19 surge

By Matthew Lee | AP The Washington Post June 17, 2021 at 11:21 a.m. EDT A man receives the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. In Afghanistan, where a surge threatens to overwhelm a war-battered health system, 700,000 doses donated by China arrived over the weekend, and within hours,

COVID-19 out of control in Afghanistan as cases up 2,400% in a month

Reuters JUNE 17, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) -The COVID-19 pandemic is spiralling out of control in Afghanistan, with cases rising 2,400% in the past month, hospitals filling up and medical resources quickly running out, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Thursday. More than a third of tests last week came

Biden, Putin Discuss Post-Withdrawal Afghanistan

TOLOnews TV Network 17 June 2021 Putin said he hopes the US and NATO are able to maintain some peace and security in Afghanistan, according to Biden. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday at a press conference in Switzerland after meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said that he discussed Afghanistan with the Russian

Frustration growing as time runs short to evacuate Afghan allies ahead of US withdrawal

Leo Shane III Military Times 15 June 2021 Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Luedtke, left, listens to an Afghan interpreter relaying the requests of a local elder in Roydara on August 7, 2007. (Master Sgt. James Varhegyi/Air Force) Time is running out to find a solution for Afghan nationals looking to emigrate to the United States

Norway says it will operate Kabul medical facility after troop withdrawal if security of personnel is assured

Karen DeYoung The Washington Post June 16, 2021 Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are pictured at the NATO summit in Brussels on June 14. (Patrick Semansky/AP) Norway has said it will continue to operate the medical facility used by diplomats and aid personnel in Kabul for the rest of

Time running out for Afghan peace process, more efforts needed – EU envoy

Charlotte GreenfieldGibran Peshimam Reuters June 16, 2021 Taliban delegates speak during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem al Omari/File Photo ISLAMABAD, June 16 (Reuters) – The European Union’s envoy for Afghanistan said on Wednesday time was running out for Afghan peace negotiations and more needed to

CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal

By Carla Babb Voice of America June 14, 2021 05:21 AM FILE – Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) makes an unannounced visit in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2020. ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT – The United States is not planning to support Afghan forces with air strikes after the U.S. troops withdrawal is complete, and counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan will

NATO allies seek clarity on maintaining secure facilities in Afghanistan following troop withdrawal

Karen DeYoung The Washington Post June 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. EDT Afghan security personnel on May 25 at a checkpoint around the Green Zone, which houses embassies in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul/AP) With fewer than 100 days before the Sept. 11 deadline President Biden has set for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan,

Turkey’s Erdogan offers to guard Kabul Airport post U.S. exit

Afghanistan Times 15 June 2021 KABUL: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks U.S. trust to hand him over guarding and running of Kabul- Hamid Karzai- Airport after the withdrawal of U.S. led NATO forces from Afghanistan. Turkey would be the “only reliable” country left to stabilize Afghanistan after the US pulls out its troops, he

Citing Makkah Statement, Protestors Urge Taliban to Stop Fighting

Nabila Ashrafi, Tolo News 15 June 202 Civil activists, citing the fatwa, called on the Taliban to stop the killing of Afghans and to put an end to the war that takes lives every day on both sides. In a press conference held in Kabul on Tuesday, Afghan civil society activists announced their support for

U.N. readies for more displaced Afghans after troop withdrawal

By Michelle Nichols Reuters 14 June 2021 UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -The United Nations is preparing for a likely further displacement of civilians in Afghanistan after U.S. and international troops leave the country in September, U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi told Reuters on Monday. Violence has been rising as foreign forces begin withdrawing and efforts to

NATO Leaders Agreed to Continue Support to Afghans

TOLOnews TV Network 15 June 2021 “Our support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces will endure,” President Biden said.   US President Joe Biden at a press conference after the NATO leaders’ summit in Brussels on Monday “there was a strong consensus in the room, among the leaders, in that meeting, on Afghanistan,”

U.S. Weighs Possibility of Airstrikes if Afghan Forces Face Crisis

By Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff June 10, 2021 Published June 9, 2021 The Pentagon is considering whether to intervene with warplanes or drones in the event that Kabul is in danger of falling to the Taliban, though no decisions have been made. A United States Air Force pilot training Afghan service members in 2018. Afghan security

Muslim World League to Host Afghan Peace Conference in Makkah

TOLOnews TV Network 10 June 2021 The event will conclude with a final statement and a declaration of peace in Afghanistan. The Muslim World League (MWL) will host in Makkah on Thursday the Islamic Conference on the Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan, Arab News reported.  The event, hosted by Saudi Arabia, will bring together senior

He spent years at war in Afghanistan. Now he commands the U.S. withdrawal.

Dan Lamothe The Washington Post June 7, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EDT Gen. Austin ‘Scott’ Miller said U.S. troops can do what is needed to ‘go out with our heads held high’ Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller supported a possible political settlement with the Taliban, but privately questioned if the group would follow through. (Jeff Harris/Defense

Without U.S. contractors, the Afghan military will lose its main advantage over the Taliban — air power

Dan De Luce NBC News June 6, 2021 The loss of U.S. contractors could trigger a game-changing shift in the military balance between the Taliban and the Afghan government. An Afghan pilot stands next to a line of U.S.-made MD-530 helicopters in Kabul in September 2016.Shah Marai / AFP via Getty Images file WASHINGTON —

Official: US Pledges $3.3 Billion in Funding for Afghan Forces

By Ayaz Gul Voice of Amerca June 06, 2021 12:28 PM ISLAMABAD – The U.S. peace envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, along with a high-level delegation, met Sunday with leaders in Kabul to discuss bilateral cooperation after U.S. and coalition troops leave the country by a Sept. 11 deadline. The discussions come as Taliban insurgents

Afghan troops suffer ‘shockingly high’ casualties as violence mounts

Reuters JUNE 7, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – At least 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured in the last 24 hours in a surge of attacks by Taliban militants as foreign forces withdraw, senior government officials said on Monday. Fighting is now raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces, the officials said, speaking

Taliban takeover two districts as severe clashes rocked Afghanistan

Afghanistan Times June 7, 2021, 2021 KABUL: The Taliban group overran a couple districts of the two provinces in south and west of Afghanistan as the militants have intensified their offensives across the country. Urozgan Governor Omar Shirzad said that the security forces retreated from the compound of Gizab district. A clash occurred between the

C.I.A. Scrambles for New Approach in Afghanistan

By Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes The New York Times June 6, 2021 The rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops has left the agency seeking ways to maintain its intelligence-gathering, war-fighting and counterterrorism operations in the country. An Afghan soldier flying over Helmand Province last month. Recent C.I.A. and military intelligence reports on Afghanistan have been increasingly

Taliban Assures Afghan Interpreters on Their Safety

TOLOnews TV Network 7 June 2021 The Taliban said that those Afghans who worked with international troops should not fear and should continue living a peaceful life in the country. Amidst foreign troops withdrawal, thousands of Afghan interpreters and staff members have expressed concerns about threats against them, but the Taliban in a statement said

Pakistan Seeks Afghan Settlement Before Troop Withdrawal: Report

TOLOnews TV Network 5 June 2021 Imran Khan said it is not going to be easy to get concessions from the Taliban after the US decision. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his country is pushing for a political settlement in Afghanistan before international troops leave later this year to reduce the risk

Find Him and Kill Him’: An Afghan Pilot’s Desperate Escape

By David Zucchino Photographs by Kiana Hayeri The New York Times June 3, 2021 Threatened by the Taliban and considered AWOL by the Afghan military, a decorated helicopter pilot fled for the United States with his wife and daughter. Maj. Naiem Asadi, an Afghan Air Force helicopter pilot, his wife, Rahima, and their daughter, Zainab, packing

Amid brutal case surge, Afghanistan hit by a vaccine delay

By Kathy Gannon  Associated Press June 5, 2021 at 2:09 a.m. EDT An Afghan doctor checks a COVID-19 patient at the Afghan-Japan Communicable Disease Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 30, 2021. Afghanistan is battling a brutal third wave of COVID infections, while health officials plead for vaccines, expressing deep frustration at the inequities of the

A Siege, a Supply Run and a Descent Into a Decade-Old Battle

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff Photographs by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times May 31, 2021 ‘Do you have body armor?’ the Afghan pilot asked us as we prepared for a trip to outposts surrounded by the Taliban. Afghan soldiers unloading supplies, including live sheep, from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after it landed at Camp Nowruz during

Khalid Says Intl Forces May Continue Air Support After Pullout

 Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 31 May 2021   Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid assured the Afghan forces that the country will not fall to militants. Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid on Tuesday said air support by international troops aiding Afghan forces might continue even after the end of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan if necessary.  “The

Taliban Attach Conditions to Istanbul Conference Participation

 By Tahir Khan Voice of America May 25, 2021 01:39 PM FILE – Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, center, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for attending an international peace conference in Moscow, Russia, Apr. 21, 2021. ISLAMABAD – The Afghan Taliban have decided upon three conditions to attend an eagerly awaited

A Wave of Afghan Surrenders to the Taliban Picks Up Speed

By David Zucchino and Najim Rahim The New York Times May 27, 2021Updated 1:33 p.m. ET Dozens of besieged outposts or bases, and four district centers, have given up to the insurgents this month, in an accelerating rural collapse as American troops leave. Policemen standing guard on the roof of their outpost near Mehtarlam in Afghanistan’s Laghman Province.

Some Foreign Troops to Remain in Afghanistan

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 27 May 2021 “America wants a Turkish garrison to secure the city’s airport and 600 US marines could be deployed to protect the US embassy,” The Sun reported. A British newspaper reported that a US plan calls for hundreds of foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan to stop the Taliban from

Pentagon Accelerates Withdrawal From Afghanistan

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper The New York Times Published May 26, 2021 American troops are set to be out by early to mid-July, well ahead of President Biden’s Sept. 11 deadline, even as big issues remain unresolved. An Afghan Air Force Black Hawk crew preparing to unload supplies in southern Afghanistan this month. The

Taliban Warns Neighbor Countries Against Hosting US Bases

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 26 May 2021 The Taliban warned neighboring countries of future consequences if US bases are allowed on their soil.  Reacting to reports that the US was considering the establishment of military bases in Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, the Taliban in a statement on Tuesday warned neighboring countries against such a move, saying

Alarm sounded over dreadful surge in Covid-19 cases, deaths in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Times May 25, 2021 AT News KABUL: With a fresh surge in the third wave of Corona virus, the Afghan health authorities on Tuesday reported a significant surge in new cases and deaths-related to the virus, despite a stepped-up vaccination campaign. The Afghan health ministry recorded 840 new infections and 19 deaths across the

Australia to close Afghanistan embassy over security fears

Al Jazeera 25 May 2021 Prime Minister Scott Morrison says embassy to shut this week because of the ‘increasingly uncertain security environment’ in Kabul. Australia has abruptly announced it will close its embassy in Afghanistan this week, expressing fears over the “increasingly uncertain security environment” in Kabul in the wake of the US decision to

Afghan women rights on verge of collapse as international forces exit

Afghanistan Times AT News May 24, 2021 KABUL: The rights of the Afghan women are on verge of collapse as the international troops preparing for exit, leaving the country’s peace negotiations in stalemate and uncertainty, said an international watchdog. The Amnesty International in a report published on Monday, expressed “grave” concerns on possible violation of

NATO to continue Afghan troop training after leaving country

FRANCOIS MORI ASSOCIATED PRESS Stars and Stripes Published: May 21, 2021 French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a briefing at the Elysee palace in Paris on Friday, May 21, 2021. BRUSSELS— NATO will continue to train Afghan special forces outside the country after it winds up 18 years of

Doha: Negotiators Meet for Second Time in Renewed Talks

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 24 May 2021 The Republic negotiators said they discussed the resumption of the negotiations and the details of continuing the talks. Some negotiators of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held a meeting in Doha on Sunday–their latest since May 13–amid the stalled peace efforts that have shown no

 Pakistan allows overflight to US military to support presence in Afghan

Afghanistan Times AT Monitoring Desk May 22, 2021 KABUL: Pakistan has allowed the US military to have overflight and access to be able to support its presence in Afghanistan, a top Pentagon official has told lawmakers. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs David F Helvey also told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Taliban may grab US military equipment as American troops leave Afghanistan

Leo Shane III Military Times 20 May 2021 Afghans stand inside Baba Mir’s scrapyard outside Bagram Air Base, northwest of the capital Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 3, 2021. (Rahmat Gul/AP) U.S. military equipment could end up in the hands of Taliban fighters and terrorist groups as American troops withdraw thousands of vehicles, weapons and other military

Inside Washington’s Fight to Save Afghans Who Saved Americans

By Robbie Gramer and Jack Detsch Foreign Policy MAY 19, 2021, 1:59 PM Afghan interpreters were promised U.S. visas. Now, red tape may cost them their lives. With the help of an interpreter (center), an Afghan National Army doctor (left) speaks with a U.S. Army advisor in Pul-e-Alam, Afghanistan, on April 5, 2014. SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES In

Tribal elders broker local Taliban, Afghan government ceasefire

Reuters By Reuters Staff MAY 20, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Tribal elders in eastern Afghanistan have achieved something that has long eluded world leaders – a ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The month-long stoppage in hostilities in the Alingar district of Laghman province, one of the hardest hit by violence, was called

US General to Recommend Post-Pullout Plan for Afghanistan

Tolo News TV Network 20 May 2021 Gen. McKenzie says negotiations for US “troop basing” and “overflight rights” With Afghan neighbors are “moving forward.” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command said Wednesday he will make recommendations to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in early June on how to monitor and fight “terrorist

Pak makes shift against Taliban to balance US, China

Afghanistan News International/ANI 19 May 2021, 19:55 GMT+10 Islamabad [Pakistan], May 19 (ANI): In a strategic shift, Islamabad no longer favours a Taliban total victory in Afghanistan as it seeks to balance its US and China relations. Salman Rafi Sheikh, writing in Asia Times said that Pakistan’s security establishment appears to see more geopolitical upside

Freedom of speech facing increased threats

Afghanistan Times AT News May 19, 2021 KABUL: Supporting the Open Media in Afghanistan (NAI) has expressed concerns on the threats facing before the freedom of speech and freedom of press. In a statement, the watchdog joint the call of the amnesty international and urge the government to take tremendous steps to provide protection to

U.S. eyes international effort to help secure Kabul airport after withdrawal

By Phil Stewart Reuters 18 May 2021 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its NATO allies are exploring a possible international effort to help secure the airport in Afghanistan’s capital after American troops withdraw from the country, the top U.S. general said on Tuesday. U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Taliban’s military victory faces international opposition; Khalilzad Says Fears of Taliban Conquering Kabul Are Overblown

Afghanistan Times AT News May 19, 2021 KABUL: The U.S. appointed man for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad vows that the Taliban group’s military victory will face regional and international opposition as well as sanctions. Khalilzad argued that the Taliban have reason not to push for a military victory and instead pursue a negotiated political settlement

 Human Rights Watch worried about Afghan women’s condition

Afghanistan Times AT News May 18, 2021 KABUL: The Human Rights Watch expresses concerns over the condition of Afghan women, predicting their future as challenging. It says that Afghan women still don’t have access to their basic rights. Heather Barr, a senior human rights researcher and head of the Human Rights Watch in Asia, said

China Offers to Host Afghan Peace Talks

 By Ayaz Gul Voice of America/VOA May 18, 2021 08:23 AM FILE – China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi waves as he leaves a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 24, 2020. ISLAMABAD – China has renewed diplomatic efforts to help facilitate a negotiated end to the conflict in Afghanistan, saying it is

In Taliban-Controlled Areas, Girls Are Fleeing for One Thing: an Education

By Adam Nossiter Photographs by Kiana Hayeri The New York Times May 17, 2021 Two districts in Afghanistan’s northwest offer a glimpse into life under the Taliban, who have completely cut off education for teenage girls. SHEBERGHAN, Afghanistan — The order to shut down the girls’ schools was announced at the mosque, in a meeting with

Afghan clashes resume after Eid ceasefire as U.S. troops begin pullout

By Reuters staff MAY 17, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents resumed on Monday after a three-day ceasefire announced by both sides for the Muslim holiday of Eid, officials said. Taliban Islamists have staged a months-long campaign to expand their influence across the country as the United States

Taliban Ready to Resume Intra-Afghan Talks in Doha

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 18 May 2021 Last week negotiators from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held brief talks in Doha after a month’s delay. As prospects for the resumption of peace talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban remain vague, a spokesman for the Taliban on Monday said

Spy Agencies Seek New Afghan Allies as U.S. Withdraws

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Julian E. Barnes The New York Times May 14, 2021 Updated 9:14 a.m. ET The move signals an acknowledgment by Western intelligence agencies that they are preparing for the likely collapse of the central government and a return to civil war. A billboard of Ahmad Shah Massoud on the anniversary of his killing in Kabul,

Ghani, Blinken Discuss Afghan Peace, Recent Attacks

Syed Zabiullah Langari  Tolo News 14 May 2021,   Antony Blinken said US supports its partnership and Afghan security forces.   The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on phone and the two sides discussed the regional efforts to advance the Afghan peace process and the recent

White House Weighs Evacuating Afghans as Time Runs Out

Jennifer Jacobs and Roxana Tiron Bloomberg News May 12, 2021, 11:01 AM EDT Updated on May 13, 2021, Thousands of translators and other workers could be at risk U.S. embassy in Kabul is understaffed, visa program backlogged Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint outside a U.S. military base in Bagram on April 29, 2021. Photographer:

A City Under Siege: What the War Looks Like on Afghanistan’s Front Line

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff Photographs by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times May 13, 2021 LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — The war is just on the other side of this wall, a partly destroyed cinder block barricade in southern Afghanistan. A week ago, a family lived in a house on the property. They have since fled, and their

Officials give Congress few answers on Afghanistan pullout

By Lolita C. Baldor | AP The Washington Post May 13, 2021 WASHINGTON — Defense officials had few solid answers Wednesday as frustrated lawmakers sought details on how the United States will keep the terrorist threat from reemerging in Afghanistan after American and coalition troops leave later this year. Under persistent questions from members of the House Armed Services

Afghan forces battle to recapture Taliban-held Kabul outskirt

Al Jazeera 12 May 2021 The military operation to regain control of Nerkh district came just before the start of a three-day Eid ceasefire. Afghanistan’s security forces have mounted an operation to recapture a Taliban-held district outside the capital Kabul, according to a local official. The battle for Nerkh district, which lies in Wardak province about

‘We will kill you’: Thousands of Afghans who helped U.S. want to evacuate before the Taliban finds them

By Dan De Luce NBC News May 10, 2021 Advocates are pushing the idea of evacuating thousands of Afghans to Guam or other safe locations, where officials could vet them for U.S. resettlement. Afghan former interpreters for U.S. and NATO forces gather during a demonstration in downtown Kabul on April 30.WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP via Getty

Saleh on CBS Says US ‘Legitimized’ Taliban, Must ‘Remain Engaged’

TOLOnews TV Network 11 May 2021   On the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Saleh told CBS News: “They have taken a decision, and we respect that decision.”  Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh in an interview told CBS News said it was the American government that “legitimized” the Taliban in the first place, and now

US Airstrikes Target Taliban as Fighting Intensifies

By Jeff Seldin Stars and Stripes May 05, 2021 08:23 PM Afghan security forces stand near an armored vehicle during fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the Busharan area on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, May 5, 2021. The United States is making good on its pledge

Taliban capture key district near Afghan capital

Reuters MAY 11, 2021 1:52 PM KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban insurgents captured a key district just outside the Afghan capital Kabul in central Wardak province, forcing government forces to retreat, security officials said on Tuesday. The seizure of Nerkh district comes amid intensifying violence following an announcement by the Islamist group of a three-day ceasefire

School bombing heightens fears among Afghanistan’s Hazaras, long a target for militants, amid U.S. exit

Susannah George and Sharif Hassan The Washington Post   May 10, 2021 at 6:46 a.m. EDT Afghans go through belongings left behind after a deadly bombing on Saturday near a school in Kabul. (Mariam Zuhaib/AP) KABUL — A deadly bombing outside a school in one of Kabul’s Hazara neighborhoods is heightening fears within the minority group

Taliban Announces 3-Day Eid Ceasefire as Peace Efforts Stall; Ghani Orders Afghan Forces to Observe Eid Ceasefire

TOLOnews TV Network 10 May 2021   The Taliban has asked its fighters to avoid entering areas under the Afghan government’s control during the ceasefire days. The Taliban in a statement announced a three-day ceasefire during the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, following a surge of violence that comes on the heels of the foreign troops’ withdrawal from

Taliban Leader Urges Post-US ‘Afghan-Inclusive Islamic System’

TOLOnews TV Network 9 May 2021 “We must unite upon Islamic injunctions and protect ourselves from all discord and prejudice,” Mullah Hibatullah said.  Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in an Eid message on Sunday said that “we shall have an Afghan-inclusive Islamic system in which all people shall feel a sense of representation based on their abilities

Journalists’ union reacts to Taliban’s threat

Afghanistan News AT News 8 May 2021 KABUL: The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center (AFJC) termed the recent statement by Taliban as ambiguous regarding the security of journalists. The AFJC called on Taliban to clearly announce their position about journalists and open media. A Taliban official, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai discussed the insurgents’ policy, peaceful settlement of

Pentagon Struggles to Wean Afghan Military Off American Air Support

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt The New York Times May 6, 2021 Afghan commanders are asking for more help from American warplanes, illustrating their dependency on American air power. Afghan special forces on Thursday during a raid in a Taliban-controlled territory in Helmand Province. Afghan ground commanders are pleading for more help from American warplanes.Credit…Jim

Car bombing at Afghan school in Kabul kills 55, injures over 150 Reuters

Reuters 8 May 2021 Explosions caused by a car bomb and mortarsoutside a school in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least 55 people and wounded over 150, mostly female students, officialssaid, in an attack President Ashraf Ghani blamed on Talibaninsurgents. A senior security official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that most

Taliban Has No Intention for A Military Takeover; Khalilzad Says US Will Back Republic If Taliban Rejects Peace

By Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 8 May 2021 Stanekzai clarified that forming a coalition government was not a solution to the conflict. Taliban does not intend to seize power through military struggle, said Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a top negotiator for the Taliban in Doha, as the timeline for a US-proposed peace conference on Afghanistan

Afghans Fleeing Home Are Filling the Lowliest Jobs in Istanbul

By Carlotta Gall The New York Times May 6, 2021 After years working on American bases in Afghanistan and fearful of the Taliban, Afghans are heading to Turkey and Europe. An Afghan refugee collecting plastic and cardboard for recycling in Istanbul.Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times ISTANBUL — In a derelict house in one

60 planeloads of US military equipment leave Afghanistan as drawdown begins, CENTCOM says

By COREY DICKSTEIN STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 4, 2021 In an April 27, 2021 photo, a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C., parks on the flight line at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. C-17s and other mobility aircraft around the U.S. Air Forces Central theater are assisting with the safe and orderly

Mujahideen Ready to Fight if Taliban Reject Peace: Massoud

Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 5 May 2021 Massoud’s warning follows media reports weeks ago that men are taking up arms in Takhar, Baghlan, Daikundi and Baghlan provinces.   Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, on Wednesday said that the Afghan mujahideen are ready for a military confrontation with the Taliban

Taliban would roll back Afghan women’s rights -U.S. intelligence report

By Jonathan Landay Reuters 4 May 2021 WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Taliban “would roll back much” of the progress made in Afghan women’s rights if the Islamist extremists regain national power, according to an assessment released on Tuesday by top U.S. intelligence analysts. The U.S. National Intelligence Council report likely will reinforce fears that the Taliban

US: Strong Intl Consensus Against a Taliban Military Takeover

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 4 May 2021 “If the consensus is limited to the meeting of a few political leaders, this can’t be evaluated as a solution,” said political analyst Wais Naseri. The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said that a Taliban plan to seize control of Afghanistan with a

As the U.S. departs Afghanistan, will the old Taliban reemerge?

Missy Ryan and Susannah George Washington Post May 2, 2021 Taliban fighters display their flag in 2019 in an area their group retook in Nangahar province. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post) After the Taliban’s hard-line government collapsed in 2001, American leaders dismissed some senior militants’ attempts to join the new Afghan political order, shunning a

Taliban warns of counterattacks as original May 1 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal passes

Susannah George and Sharif Hassan The Washington Post May 2, 2021 Security personnel and residents gather Saturday in the Pul-e-Alam area of Logar province, Afghanistan, a day after a car-bomb attack. (AFP/Getty Images) KABUL — The Taliban issued a warning to U.S. and NATO forces of possible counterattacks as the original May 1 deadline for the

Taliban, US in Talks Over Full Withdrawal by July: Sources

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 3 May 2021 Taliban will return to the talks and will attend the Turkey conference if there is an agreement on the matter, sources said. Americans and the Taliban are discussing the possibility of ending the withdrawal process by the beginning of July, sources familiar with the matter said.   The

Hillary Clinton warns of ‘huge consequences’ in Afghan US troop withdrawal

BBC News 3 May 2021 IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGESimage captionHillary Clinton said the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan could lead to the “resumption of activities by terrorist groups” Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned of “huge consequences” of President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. Mrs Clinton told CNN

Day 1 of the End of the U.S. War in Afghanistan

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times May 4, 2021 The scenes over the weekend were almost as if a multitrillion-dollar effort had morphed into a garage sale. An American soldier aboard a Chinook helicopter over Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — A gray American transport plane

Afghan Blast on Eve of U.S. Pullout Deadline Kills at Least 21

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times May 1, 2021 If the blast was the work of the Taliban, as the Afghan government asserts, it would be the most overt signal yet that the peace deal is off. A truck bomb in Pul-e-Alam in Afghanistan’s Logar Province killed at least 21 people and injured scores

Afghan retreat: US starts withdrawing from its longest war

Al Jazeera 1 May 2021 The United States formally began withdrawing its last troops from Afghanistan on Saturday, bringing its longest war nearer to an end but also heralding an uncertain future for a country in the tightening grip of an emboldened Taliban. US officials on the ground said the withdrawal is a work in

Counting the costs of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan

By ISABEL DEBRE Associated Press April 30, 2021 President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war has prompted a reckoning over the colossal cost of the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — America’s longest war, the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan that started in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, killed

US orders big drawdown at Kabul embassy as troops leave

By MATTHEW LEE Associated Press April 27, 2021 Zalmay Khalilzad, special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 27, 2021, during a hearing on the Biden administration’s Afghanistan policy and plans to withdraw troops after two decades of war. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times via

As U.S. prepared exit, Taliban protected foreign bases, but killed Afghans

By Rupam Jain, Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Charlotte Greenfield Reuters April 30, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban fighters have protected western military bases in Afghanistan from attacks by rival, or rogue Islamist groups for over a year under a secret annex to a pact for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces by May 1, three Western officials with

U.S. envoy says Afghanistan’s choice is between political settlement or long ‘senseless’ war

Karen DeYoung The Washington Post April 28, 2021 Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on April 27. (T.J. Kirkpatric/Pool/Reuters) The U.S. government’s point person for negotiations with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Tuesday that he is not as pessimistic as many others are about the future

How Long Can the Afghan Security Forces Last on Their Own?

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Najim Rahim and C. J. Chivers The New York Times April 28, 2021 As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, it leaves behind broken and battered Afghan security forces to defend the country from the Taliban and other threats. Afghanistan — The Taliban attack on a police outpost at the edge of the city began

Contractors Worried as US Troop Levels Are Down

Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 30 April 2021   The contractors said they are worried about their safety and that they should be taken out of the country. Afghans who have worked with US forces in Afghanistan as contractors said their lives will be in danger after the American troops leave the country within the next

Foreign Envoys, Taliban Meet in Doha on Afghan Peace

By Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 30 April 2021   The Afghan peace process and the release of Taliban prisoners were discussed in the meeting.  Envoys from the United States, Russia, China, and Pakistan as well as Taliban negotiators held a meeting in Doha on Friday with the main focus on the Afghan peace process.  The

Analysts: Extremist Groups Emboldened by US Withdrawal

By Massoud Ansar TOLOnews Reporter 25 April 2021 Analysts said the reaction will encourage other extremist and armed groups to continue violence. The announcement of the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan has encouraged armed and extremist groups in the region and world, say Afghan analysts, who add that if the withdrawal is done “unilaterally

U.S. Military Begins Final Withdrawal From Afghanistan

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times April 25, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET The top American commander, Gen. Austin S. Miller, says he is often asked whether the Afghan forces are ready to fight the Taliban alone. His answer? ‘They must be ready.’ U.S. Army soldiers during training of the 215th Corps of the Afghan National

US Military Sending B-52s to Protect Afghanistan Withdrawal

Tolo News, 24 April 2021 Pentagon spokesman said the number of ground troops in Afghanistan is also expected to increase temporarily. The White House on Friday approved the temporary deployment of the carrier and at least six B-52 bombers in an attempt to protect US and NATO forces as they leave Afghanistan starting in less

Taliban Explains Their Perception of an Islamic System

By Tamim Hamid TOLOnews Reporter 24 April 2021 Taliban says they seek an Islamic system in which women’s rights, as understood by Islam, are protected.  At a time of growing concerns over the future of the nascent democracy in Afghanistan in a potential peace agreement with the Taliban, the group on Friday in a statement explained

U.S. military sends reinforcements ahead of Afghanistan drawdown

By LARA SELIGMAN Politico 04/23/2021 Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is sending B-52 bombers and keeping an aircraft carrier in the region. A U.S. Navy fighter jet lands on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, which will be kept in the Gulf for security purposes before a full withdrawal begins. | Petr David

The War in Afghanistan: How It Started and How It Is Ending

By David Zucchino The New York Times April 23, 2021 Even with violence escalating in the country, President Biden is bringing American troops home after nearly 20 years of war. Members of the 101st Airborne Division in Paktia Province in April 2013.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times President Biden, declaring that the United States

Biden Officials Place Hope in Taliban’s Desire for Legitimacy and Money

By Michael Crowley The New York Times April 24, 2021 Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and others say the prospect of recognition — and financial aid from the United States — can moderate the militant group. Some call that delusional. The Taliban’s delegation of peace negotiators attending an international conference in Moscow in March. Some

U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan Could Bring Iran Opportunities, Threats

By Golnaz Esfandiari Gandhara Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 23 April 2021 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) meets with Taliban political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (center) in Tehran in January. Tehran may not be willing to see its onetime foe take power across the border. The announced withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan

US general ‘concerned’ about Afghan troops after US withdrawal

Al Jazeera 22 April 2021 Top general McKenzie said Afghan military may not be able to hold ground against Taliban once foreign troops leave. Top US General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the head of Central Command which directs forces in Afghanistan, has said he is concerned over the “ability of the Afghan military to hold the

‘No Pause’ in UN Efforts for Afghan Peace Negotiations: Lyons

TOLOnews TV Network 22 April 2021 “There should be no letup in Afghan efforts to find peace,” UNAMA said.  The UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons on Thursday concluded several days of consultations in Doha with Afghan parties and international partners about “the best way forward to strengthen and add impetus to intra-Afghan peace negotiations,”

Biden Administration Working To Add Nearly $300 Million In Civilian Aid To Afghanistan

Grandhara By RFE/RL April 21, 2021 U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the new aid money was intended to demonstrate United States’ “enduring support for the Afghan people.” (file photo) The U.S. administration says it is working with Congress to provide “nearly $300 million”” in additional civilian assistance for Afghanistan in 2021 to promote

IFRC: 13 Million Afghans Lack Food Amid Drought Crisis

Zahra Rahimi TOLOnews Reporter 21 April 2021 Kabul is also one of the provinces where there are families who have been hit hard by poverty and economic crisis. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) announced that urgent action is needed to avert a deepening crisis in Afghanistan as one third

Germany: Earlier Afghanistan withdrawal being considered

By Associated Press April 21, 2021 at 12:14 p.m. EDT U.S. Black Hawk military helicopters fly over the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) BERLIN — Discussions are underway among military planners with the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Kabul for a possible withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan as

War, Peace and Taliban Spreadsheets

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times April 21, 2021 The Taliban have been recording and contesting every perceived U.S. violation of the troop withdrawal deal. Members of the Taliban in Alingar District, Afghanistan, last year.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times  DOHA, Qatar — In the twilight months of the United States’ war in Afghanistan,

Biden’s Plan to End Afghanistan War Gives Some Detainees Hope for Release

By Charlie Savage and Carol Rosenberg The New York Times April 21, 2021 The legal basis for indefinite detention at Guantánamo is to prevent combatants from returning to the battlefield. But what if their old battlefield is no more? A detainee in a communal cellblock of Guantánamo Bay in 2019. Lawyers for at least two prisoners there

Taliban Sought Release of Prisoners Before Istanbul Talks: Source

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 21 April 2021 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday tweeted that the conference had been postponed for after the Eid al-Fitr. The Taliban reportedly asked the US on Tuesday to ensure the release of its prisoners and the removal of UN sanctions on the Taliban’s leaders in exchange for the

U.S.-backed Afghan peace conference in Turkey postponed over Taliban no-show 

Reuters April 20, 2021  3:38 PM EDT A Washington-backed Afghan peace conference in Turkey has been postponed over non-participation by the Taliban, three sources told Reuters. “The Istanbul meeting is not happening on the given date because the Taliban refused to attend,” a senior Afghan government official told Reuters. The postponement was confirmed by two

Qatar negotiations continuing on Afghan peace

Aghanistan Times April 20, 2021 AT News KABUL: Taliban leaders have been busy in negotiations with the representatives from Turkey, Qatar, the United States and the United Nations in the Qatari capital of Doha for a few days, with sources close to Taliban saying that the parties were trying to build trust between the US

Civil War in ‘No One’s Interest’ in Afghanistan: Blinken

By TOLOnews, TV Network 19 April 2021 “If the Taliban doesn’t want to be a pariah, it’s going to have to engage in a political process,” the US Secretary of State said.  The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with ABC news said that the civil war in Afghanistan is in “no

Afghan Leaders Seek Political Agreement Ahead of Troop Withdraw

Zahra Rahimi Tolo News Reporter 18 April 2021 Ismail Khan warned that Afghanistan will be plunged into another civil war if talks are not pursued. Afghan politicians hope that the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban will achieve a political agreement on peace ahead of the announced date for the withdrawal of international troops from

Debating Exit From Afghanistan, Biden Rejected Generals’ Views

By Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger The New York Times April 17, 2021, 1:14 p.m. ET Over two decades of war, the Pentagon had fended off the political instincts of elected leaders frustrated with the grind of Afghanistan. But President Biden refused to be persuaded. President Biden on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery visiting the graves

With a sense of betrayal and relief, Afghans eye a future without U.S. troops

Susannah George, Aziz Tassal and Sharif Hassan The Washington Post April 17, 2021 Afghans fill a market street in downtown Kabul on April 12. (Hedayatullah Amid/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) KABUL — When the 44-year-old women’s rights activist saw the news that all U.S. forces will withdraw by Sept. 11, her thoughts immediately flashed to fear of the Taliban returning to

Taliban Has to Change Based on Democratic Ways: Zarif

TOLOnews TV Network16 April 2021 Zarif said that the role of civil society in Afghanistan today is not comparable to 2001 or the 1990s. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Friday said that there is a need for the Taliban “to change in democratic ways” as today’s Afghanistan is different than it was in 2001.

Biden’s Afghan Pullout Is a Victory for Pakistan. But at What Cost?

By Mujib Mashal, Salman Masood and Zia ur-Rehman The New York Times April 15, 2021Updated 7:18 p.m. ET Pakistan’s military stayed allied to both the Americans and Taliban. But now the country may face intensified extremism at home as a result of a perceived Taliban victory. A Pakistani soldier on guard at the border with Afghanistan in North Waziristan

US troop pullout will leave behind an uncertain Afghanistan

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press 15 April 2021 FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2002 file photo, U.S. Marines scan the northwest perimeter of the American military compound at Afghanistan’s Kandahar airport using sophisticated thermal imagery equipment. The Biden administration’s surprise announcement in April 2021, of an unconditional troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by Sept. 11,

Biden’s top diplomat makes unannounced stop in Afghanistan after president calls for troop withdrawal

John Hudson The Washington Post April 15, 2021 at 6:39 a.m. EDT Blinken makes surprise visit to Afghanistan after Biden announces troop withdrawal KABUL — Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced stop in Afghanistan on Thursday for meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, civic leaders and the National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah to

How the U.S. Plans to Fight From Afar After Troops Exit Afghanistan

By Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper The New York Times April 15, 2021Updated 8:23 a.m. ET Drones, long-range bombers and spy networks will be used in an effort to prevent Afghanistan from re-emerging as a terrorist base to threaten the United States. Traffic last month in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. American intelligence analysts say security in the country could worsen

Afghans Wonder ‘What About Us?’ as U.S. Troops Prepare to Withdraw

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times April 14, 2021Updated 9:25 p.m. ET Many Afghans fear that without the umbrella of American protection, the country will be unable to preserve its modest gains toward democracy and women’s rights. Students at Mawoud Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month. The planned withdrawal of U.S. troops and the Taliban’s

The Crucial Questions for Afghanistan

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times April 14, 2021 Updated 9:36 p.m. ET What will happen to women and minorities? Can the Afghan president hold on to power? These and other pressing questions face a fearful country as the United States military withdraws. A view of Kabul last year.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times

Taliban Threatens US With Countermeasures; Taliban Backs Out of Planned Talks as US Extends Troop Presence

TOLOnews TV Network 15 April 2021 “This decision is a clear violation of the Doha Agreement and non-compliance with its commitments,” the Taliban said in a statement on Thursday. The Taliban, responding to US President Joe Biden’s troops pullout policy on Wednesday, issued a statement on Thursday saying that the US by skipping the May

Biden tells Americans ‘we cannot continue the cycle’ in Afghanistan as he announces troop withdrawal

Anne Gearan, Karen DeYoung and Tyler Pager The Washington Post April 14, 2021 at 3:22 p.m. EDT President Biden visits Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday. (Andrew Harnik/AP) President Biden formally announced Wednesday that the United States will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, saying in a speech from the White

The war in Afghanistan: Promises to win, but no vision for victory

Craig Whitlock The Washington Post April 14, 2021 at 2:09 p.m. EDT President George W. Bush sits in the White House after announcing that the United States and Britain had started bombing Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, marking the beginning of the longest war in American history. (William Philpott/Reuters) Four days after the United States

Biden will withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021

Missy Ryan and Karen DeYoung The Washington Post April 13, 2021 at 2:45 p.m. EDT A U.S. soldier runs near a special forces unit of the Afghan National Army during a morning training session last year on a base near Kabul. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post) President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan

Taliban Not Ready to Attend Turkey Summit on April 16

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press 12 April 2021 FILE – In this March 6, 2021, file photo, President Ashraf Ghani speaks during the opening ceremony of the new legislative session of the Parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan. In March 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave both the Taliban and the Afghan government an eight-page

Blinken to Travel to Brussels for Talks on Afghanistan, Ukraine; Khalilzad Leaves Kabul after Meeting with Afghan Leaders

Tolo News 12 April 2021 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will join Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brussels. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return to Brussels this week for discussions on Iran, Afghanistan and Russian activities directed at Ukraine, a US official said as quoted by Reuters. Blinken will join US Defense

Afghan President in ‘Desperate Situation’ as His Power Is Undermined

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times April 10, 2021, 9:21 a.m. ET Ashraf Ghani has few remaining allies, the Taliban are gaining militarily, and his international supporters are impatient with him and the stumbling peace process. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan arriving for the opening ceremony of the new session of Parliament in Kabul last

Biden seems ready to extend US troop presence in Afghanistan

By ROBERT BURNS Associated Press 8 April 2021 FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2019, file photo armed soldiers stand guard in the motorcade for President Donald Trump speaks during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to the troops at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Without coming right out and saying it, President Joe Biden seems ready

 UN warns of 70pc increase in Afghan poverty

Afghanistan Times AT News April 7, 2021 KABUL: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Afghanistan warns that poverty would likely jump up to 70 percent in 2021 in Afghanistan and the number of needy people would reach to 18 million. In a new report on Afghan situation, the UN body said Wednesday that if

Russian foreign minister visits Pakistan in search of Afghan peace

By Charlotte Greenfield Reuters 7 April 2021 ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and the country’s army chief for talks on the troubled peace process in Afghanistan, where both countries have long histories of involvement. It was the first time a Russian foreign minister had

Russia backs talks with Taliban

AfghanistanNews.Net ANI 06 Apr 2021 New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has emphasised the need for the inclusion of the Taliban in any political settlement of Afghanistan. Lavrov, who is in India on a two-day visit, also stressed that representatives of India and Russia, dealing with Afghanistan, must remain in

Biden Wants More Time, Advice on Afghanistan: White House

TOLOnews TV Network 6 March 2021 “It will be tough to meet the May 1st deadline for full withdrawal, for logistical reasons,” the White House press secretary said.   White House press secretary Jen Psaki, referring to Afghanistan during a press conference on Monday, said that US President Joe Biden “wants to take the time

Khalilzad Shared Date of Turkey Summit With Delegates

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 6 March 2021 Sources said the details of the agenda handed to the negotiators will be made public if they are accepted by the two sides. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad sent a letter to negotiators representing the Afghan republic and the Taliban specifying the date for the Turkey conference on

U.S. Looks to Build on Secret Portions of Taliban Deal to Reduce Violence

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times April 5, 2021 In the final weeks before the U.S. is set to withdraw from Afghanistan, officials are trying to negotiate with the insurgent group and stave off a Taliban spring offensive. American military personnel in a helicopter flying over Helmand Province in 2019.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New

Political Leaders Set to Start Review on US-Proposed Peace Plan

Haseeba Atakpal Tolo News 2 April 2021 A 15-member committee of political leaders is set to further review the US-proposed peace plan. A 15-member committee of political leaders will be briefed on Saturday on the results of a review of the US-proposed peace plan for Afghanistan by various parties collected by the State Ministry for

Discussions Held in Doha Over Istanbul Summit Agenda

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 1 April 2021   Afghan politicians believe that the Turkey conference can provide a good platform for accelerating the Afghan peace process. Representatives from the UN, Turkey, Qatar and the US have met with the peace negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Doha and discussions were held about

Inside The Lobbying Battle Over America’s Longest War

Akbar Shahid Ahmed HuffPost 04/01/2021  President Joe Biden will soon announce whether he plans to keep the 3,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan deployed there beyond a May 1 deadline for their departure. With one month until former President Donald Trump’s May 1 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden faces one of

No discussion on U.S. troop extension: Taliban

 Afghanistan Times AT News March 31, 2021 KABUL: The Taliban group has denied the reports leaked on media about the U.S. discussion with the group to forge a new deadline to prolong Washington’s military presence in Afghanistan. Former Chief of National Directorate of Security, Rahmatullah Nabil earlier in a series of tweets said that the

USIP Report: Post-Peace Afghan Security Challenges

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 31 March 2021   The report states that Afghan government forces will still need long-term global advice and financial assistance after a peace agreement. In a new report, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) focused on the reintegration of the Taliban fighters within the ranks of the Afghan National Security

The Taliban Think They Have Already Won, Peace Deal or Not

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times March 31, 2021 “We have defeated the enemy.” The international community is scrambling to secure peace in Afghanistan, but the Taliban believe they have the upper hand — and are saying as much. Members of a Taliban red unit, an elite force, in Laghman Province’s Alingar district in

Addressing Regional Summit, Ghani Outlines Govt’s Peace Plan

TOLOnews TV Network 30 March 2021 Ghani said that a peace agreement that is achieved after talks with the Taliban needs to be endorsed by a Loya Jirga. President Ashraf Ghani in an address to the ninth Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference in Tajikistan offered details on his government’s plan for a potential

US Wants Taliban Approval to Extend May 1 Deadline; Taliban favors Istanbul meeting after Ramadan

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 30 March 2021 “We will reach a conclusion and a settlement on the issue of Afghanistan at the Turkey conference,” said Saadati. The United States reportedly asked the Taliban to agree to the continued presence of American forces for three or six months in Afghanistan after the May 1 deadline, sources

With U.S. withdrawal delay likely, and new peace proposal on the table, Taliban faces inevitable crossroads

Susannah George The Washington Post March 27, 2021 Members of the Taliban delegation attend a joint news conference in Moscow, on March 19. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) DOHA, Qatar — For months, the Taliban has managed to both talk peace and wage war across Afghanistan. The strategy appeared to appease the hard-liners within the militant group who

Blinken Emphasizes Importance of Political Settlement by Afghans

TOLOnews TV Network 29 March 2021 “Everyone recognizes that there is no military solution to Afghanistan,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reiterated that there has to be “some kind of political settlement in Afghanistan” and that it should be done by Afghans themselves. “It was also

Sticky bombs latest weapon in Afghanistan’s arsenal of war

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press 26 March 2021 Security personnel inspect the site of a sticky bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 15, 2021. Sticky bombs slapped onto cars trapped in Kabul’s chaotic traffic are the newest weapons terrorizing Afghans in the increasingly lawless nation. The surge of bombings comes as Washington searches for a

Mohib: Hasty US Withdrawal Could Trigger Civil War

Massoud Ansar TOLOnews Reporter 27 March 2021 Mohib says that so far the Taliban has not offered any roadmap for peace.   National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib on Saturday warned that Afghanistan could slide into an all-out civil war if the US withdraws its forces without a peace agreement. He reiterated that the Taliban will

Reconciliation Council to Propose Amendments to US Peace Plan

Haseeba Atakpal, Tolo News 27 March 2021 The reconciliation council is working on proposed amendments to at least two parts of the peace plan. The High Council for National Reconciliation led by Abdullah Abdullah is looking to propose some amendments to the US peace plan for Afghanistan, a member of the council, Farida Mohmand said

Officials Try to Sway Biden Using Intelligence on Potential for Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan

By Julian E. Barnes, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt The New York Times March 26, 2021 If U.S. troops leave before any deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the militant group will take over much of the country, an intelligence assessment predicted. Members of the Taliban last year in an area controlled by the group in

 Massoud warns of ‘civil war’ in Afghanistan if US troops leave hastily

Afghanistan Times AT Monitoring Desk March 26, 2021 KABUL: Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, national hero who was assassinated by al-Qaeda two days before the 9/11 attacks, in an interview with FRANCE 24 in Paris, expressed concern at the prospect of US troops leaving the country in May, warning that a rushed

Biden: ‘We Will Leave’ but Troop Pullout by May 1 ‘Hard’; Germany Extends Military Presence in Afghanistan into 2022

Syed Zabiullah Langari  Tolo News 25 March 2021 Under the US-Taliban deal, the US forces have to leave Afghanistan on May 1. US President Joe Biden speaking at a online press conference on Thursday said it will be hard to meet the May 1 deadline for getting troops out of Afghanistan for “tactical reasons.” Asked

US failed to collect reimbursements from Afghanistan coalition partners for years, IG finds

By: Aaron Mehta  Defense News 24 March 2021   The U.S. spent $773 million in a four-year span to fly American and coalition forces around Afghanistan. At least part of that was supposed to be reimbursed, but wasn’t. (Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea/U.S. Army) WASHINGTON — For four years, the Pentagon failed to charge partner nations

Why it is Biden’s call on the future of US troops in Afghanistan

William Roberts Al Jazeera 24 Mar 2021 Congress passed laws after the 9/11 attacks giving US presidents power to use military force, but calls to restrict that authority are growing. United States President Joe Biden campaigned for the White House on a pledge to “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East”. Now,

Kabulov: Taliban Delegates in Moscow Insisted on Emirate’s Return

TOLOnews TV Network 24 March 2021 The draft states that when the term of a proposed transitional government ends, the future leader of Afghanistan will be elected through a popular vote. Zamir Kabulov, the Russian president’s envoy for Afghanistan, said that the Taliban during the Moscow meeting insisted on the restoration of the Islamic emirate

Afghanistan Will Stay ‘Independent’ Despite ‘Rumors’: Ghani

TOLOnews TV Network 24 March 2021 A proposed US draft plan for Afghan peace has been shared with political leaders and outlines a roadmap toward an end to the violence.   President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday at the inauguration ceremony of the Kamal Khan Dam in the western province of Nimroz referred to the US

Rejecting U.S. peace plan, Afghan president to offer election in six months

By Hamid Shalizi Reuters MARCH 23, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will propose a new presidential election within six months, under a peace plan he will put forward as a counter-offer to a U.S. proposal that he rejects, two senior government officials told Reuters. Ghani will unveil his proposal at an international gathering

UN Envoy Calls for End to Killings, Suffering of Afghans

Nabila Ashrafi Tolo News 23 March 2021 The UN envoy said that If the peace process is to be sustainable, the parties must look not to Afghanistan’s past, but to its future. UN envoy Deborah Lyons on Tuesday briefed the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan and called on the Afghan warring sides to

Pentagon chief in Afghanistan on unannounced visit as deadline to withdraw U.S. troops looms

Dan Lamothe The Washington Post March 22, 2021 U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, center, walks on a red carpet with Acting Afghan Minister of Defense Yasin Zia as they review an honor guard at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 21, 2021. Austin arrived in Kabul on his first trip to Afghanistan as

Foes in Afghan War See a Common Threat of Islamic State’s Return

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Zabihullah Ghazi The New York Times March 23, 2021 An unusual truce between the government and the Taliban has kept the Islamic State out of one former stronghold. But there is a peace paradox: Unemployed fighters looking for work. “The Islamic State is just looking for a foothold,” said Wahid Talash, second from

At Least 9 Dead in Afghan Helicopter Crash, After Clashes With Local Militia

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Najim Rahim The New York Times March 18, 2021 The crash occurred in eastern Afghanistan, where security and militia forces have been in a tense, and sometimes violent, standoff since January. Local militia members patrolling in the Hisa-e-Awal Behsud District of Wardak Province, Afghanistan, in January.Credit…Wakil Kohsar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images KABUL, Afghanistan

Taliban expect US withdrawal in May; vow to restore Islamic rule

Al Jazeera 19 March 2021 Taliban stand firm on demand for an Islamic government in Afghanistan, though they do not elaborate on what it would look like. The Taliban warned the United States on Friday against defying a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, promising a “reaction” though

MoFA Welcomes Moscow Meeting’s Statement on Afghanistan; Taliban: Peace Negotiations Should Be Expedited

TOLOnews TV Network 19 March 2021 Afghan Foreign Ministry says it supports the stance of the statement on a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan.   The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday welcomed the statement by Moscow conference and called it a step forward towards beginning serious talks for achieving peace based on Afghans’ demand.

Representatives in Moscow Reject Restart of Islamic Emirate

Syed Zabiullah Langari  Tolo News 18 March 2021 A joint statement by Russia, China, the US and Pakistan following Thursday’s meeting calls for reduced violence and a negotiated settlement for peace.  Following the Moscow conference on Afghan peace held on Thursday, a joint statement was issued in which the four primary representative countries–Russia, China, the

U.S. joined by Russia, China, Pakistan in call for Afghan ceasefire

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Reuters MARCH 18, 20219 MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States was joined by Russia, China and Pakistan on Thursday in calling on Afghanistan’s warring sides to reach an immediate ceasefire, at talks that showed Washington’s determination to win backing from regional powers for its plans. Just six weeks before a deadline for the

Secretary-General appoints Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan

18 March 2021 UN Affairs Jean Arnault, then Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, speaks to the press in Bogota. (file photo) The United Nations Secretary-General on Wednesday announced the appointment of seasoned mediator Jean Arnault as his new Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional Issues, reflecting the Organization’s continued commitment to the peaceful

U.S. New Proposal Disregard Afghan Women: AWN

Afghanistan Times March 17, 2021  AT News KABUL: The Afghan Women Network (AWN) has expressed its concerns over the U.S. new proposal for peace in Afghanistan – saying that “no address” on behalf of women is authorized to pardon the criminals as women have been the main victims of the Afghan war and attacks by

US official warns Congress on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan; Taliban Violence Remains High in Afghanistan, Says Sopko

Al Jazeera 16 March 2021 Removing US troops without a peace deal would be ‘a disaster’, says John Sopko, as new talks set to begin in Moscow. A top United States official working on Afghanistan has warned Congress that a withdrawal of US troops from the country without a peace agreement between the Afghan government

Aid cuts by US, other donors could imperil Afghan gov’t

Al Jazeera 16 March 2021 International aid to Afghanistan decreased from a high of $6.7bn in 2011, down to $4.2bn in 2019, according to World Bank data. Further cuts in aid to Afghanistan by the United States and other donors could cause the government to collapse and return the country to chaos similar to what

Moscow Conference on Afghan Peace Begins

Syed Zabiullah Langari Tolo News 18 March 2021 The Russian foreign minister said that his country will continue to play its role to promote political dialogue in Afghanistan.   Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during Thursday’s opening session of the Moscow talks on Afghan peace, said that despite the peace agreement between the US and the

 Human Rights Watch Accuses Taliban of Torturing Prisoners

Afghanistan Times March 15, 2021 AT News KABUL: The Human Rights Watch claims that Taliban torture the people they keep in their prisons. Patricia Gossman, head of the body’s Asia office, said Monday that the militants are running secret prisons for a long time in the areas under their control. “We provided details about the

US General Warns of Consequences of May 1 Withdrawal Plan

By TOLOnews TV Network 15 March 2021 Gen. McKenzie on Saturday met with President Ashraf Ghani and discussed security and peace.  The commander of US Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, has said that fighting in Afghanistan will intensify sharply and Taliban militants could threaten major cities unless a Biden administration diplomatic push to end the

U.S. Has 1,000 More Troops in Afghanistan Than It Disclosed

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt The New York Times March 15, 2021 The undercount complicates President Biden’s decision on carrying out a complete withdrawal by May 1, as his administration tries to jump-start peace talks. American soldiers in 2018 at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan. Publicly, 2,500 U.S. troops are said to be in the

Taliban expresses scepticism over interim Afghan gov’t proposal

Al Jazeera 14 March 2021 Taliban spokesman tells Al Jazeera an interim government, suggested by the US, will not solve Afghanistan’s problems. A Taliban spokesman has expressed scepticism over a proposal by the United States for an interim government in Afghanistan, saying transitional governments have proven ineffective and that the group’s vision for the country

U.S. push for peace in Afghanistan has new ‘urgency.’ Some Afghans fear it could backfire.

Susannah George The Washington Post March 14, 2021 Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai talks on his phone in Kabul on March 11 as peace talks are held in Doha, Qatar. (Rahmat Gul/AP) DOHA, Qatar — The United States has launched its most aggressive push yet for a political settlement to end two decades of conflict

AP Interview: Karzai says US plan catalyst for Afghan peace

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press 11 March 2021 Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 11, 2021. Afghans are eager for peace and a recently floated U.S. draft for a deal between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government is the best chance to accelerate

Include Taliban in interim Afghan administration, says Russia

Al Jazeera 12 March 2021 Inclusion would solve the ‘problem of integrating the Taliban into Afghanistan’s peaceful political life’, a Moscow official claims. Russia said on Friday that the Taliban should be included in any Afghan interim administration, before a conference in Moscow aimed at supporting peace talks between the group and Afghanistan’s government. Moscow

Ghani, Afghan Politicians Divided on Peace Process

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 11 March 2021 The proposed UN-led conference on Afghan peace in Turkey may take place on March 27, sources close to the Taliban told TOLOnews on Wednesday. President Ashraf Ghani held a meeting at the Presidential Palace with key Afghan political leaders on Wednesday to discuss the peace process, particularly focusing

The leaked U.S. plan to end the war in Afghanistan

Susannah George The Washington Post March 10, 2021 Students leave school in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December. The school was used as a Taliban recruitment center when the group was in power. (Lorenzo Tugnol for The Washington Post) tISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A leaked State Department document presents the clearest picture yet of a political settlement to the

‘All is Not Well’ in Afghanistan, Says Sopko; U.S. contractors pullout could devastate Afghan forces

TOLOnews TV Network 11 March 2021 “Right now, that state is under threat. In the wake of the February 2020 withdrawal agreement, all is not well,” SIGAR.   The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John Sopko, has warned over Afghanistan’s situation saying that the state remains under threat and that “all is not well” in the

International Consensus on Afghan Peace Stressed

Afghanistan Times AT News March 10, 2021  KABUL: Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Head of the Negotiation Team of Afghanistan and some members of the negotiation team met with Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, in Doha. At the beginning of the meeting, the head of the negotiation team spoke about the recent developments

Turkey to Host Afghan Peace Conference on March 27 – Taliban Confirm Participation

By Mujeeb R. Awrang Afghanistan Times/AT March 10, 2021 Hopes High on Turkey Meeting to End War KABUL: In the wake of the U.S.’s new proposal for the Afghan peace process and formation of the next government system, some top anonymous sources in the government talked about a senior meeting similar to the Bonn-Conference to

As US mulls Afghan exit, activist sees long fight for women

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press/AP 8 March 2021 Sima Samar, a prominent activist and physician, who has been fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan for the past 40 years, gives an interview to The Associated Press, at her house in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Samar, 64, believes her struggle is far from over

In One Afghan District, Peace From 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Taimoor Shah and Fahim Abed Photographs by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times March 8, 2021 An unofficial cease-fire brokered by local officials, farmers and Taliban forces is an example of how communities, driven by despair, have engineered their own ways to stop the fighting. An Afghan soldier looking over the front line from a hilltop

US proposes interim gov’t could run Afghanistan until new polls

Al Jazeera 9 March 2021 Draft peace plan calls for current government to be replaced with interim administration until a new constitution is agreed and elections held. A draft peace plan proposed by the United States for Afghanistan has called for the current government to be replaced with an interim administration until a new constitution

Russia to Host Meeting on Afghanistan’s Peace Process; Taliban Concluding Internal Discussion on US Plan

TOLOnews TV Network 9 ,March 2021 Afghan politicians including President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the HCNR have been invited to the meeting. Amidst new efforts by the US to expedite Afghanistan’s reconciliation process, officials on Tuesday confirmed that Russia is planning to host a meeting on the Afghan peace process within the

Afghan Politicians React to US Sec. Blinken’s Letter

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 8 March 2021 Afghan politicians saw significance in the fact that the letter was sent to both Afghan leaders. Afghan politicians reacted to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s letter to Afghan leaders stressing the urgency for peace efforts, saying, among other things, the letter highlights a stronger role for

US presents warring Afghan sides with draft peace agreement; U.S. proposes interim power-sharing government with Taliban in Afghanistan

By Kathy Gannon | AP The Washington Post March 8, 2021 at 2:21 p.m. EST FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Afghan politician Fawzia Koofi attends the “intra-Afghan” talks in Moscow, Russia. Frustrated by a stalled peace process and escalating violence, the U.S. has presented an eight-page draft peace agreement to Afghanistan’s warring sides

Blinken Proposes New Steps to Peace, Keeps May 1st Pullout Option

By TOLOnews TV Network 7 March 2021 US Secretary Blinken writes to President Ghani of proposed steps to accelerate peace while stating that the May 1st deadline is still being considered. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a letter to President Ashraf Ghani seen by TOLOnews put forth suggestions to the Afghan government to accelerate the peace

US Envoy Khalilzad Meets Taliban in Doha

By Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 6 March 2021 Taliban spokesman says effective implementation of the Doha agreement was discussed with the US envoy. Zalmay Khalilzad, the US top envoy for Afghan peace, on Saturday met with Taliban negotiators in Qatar — for the first time under Biden administration — and discussed the implementation of the

They Were Journalists, and Women, and Targeted for Both

By Amanda Taub The New York Times March 5, 2021 As Afghanistan enters a desperate chapter, with U.S. troops potentially on the way out, insurgents are pressing a deadly campaign to silence the media and keep women home. Relatives and mourners perform funeral prayers over the coffin of one of the three female media workers shot

Abdullah Informed of US New Scheme on Afghan Peace; Participatory Setup Shared with Govt, Politicians; New Roadmap for Peace Taking Shape

Afghanistan Times  March 6, 2021 AT News KABUL: The High Council for National Reconciliation says that the US has suggested a new roadmap for the Afghan peace process. Chairman of the Council, Abdullah Abdullah discussed the US new roadmap for the Afghan peace process with US deputy chief of mission in Kabul, Ian J. McCary.

New killings deepen Afghan journalists’ assassination fears; Islamic State in Afghanistan claims slaying of three female journalists

By TAMEEM AKHGAR Associated Press 3 March 2021 Relatives carry the body of one of three women working for a local radio and TV station who were killed on Tuesday in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, during her funeral ceremony in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The coordinated killings

Moscow Likely to Host Intra-Afghan Talks’ Next Rounds

Afghanistan Times  March 3, 2021 AT News KABUL: Moscow will likely replace Doha for hosting the next rounds of the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations, a Russian diplomat said on Wednesday. “Despite reports on restarting of meetings about peace by the negotiating teams after a 45-day lull, we need to acknowledge that there is still an impasse

‘US Has Suggested Intl Conference on Afghanistan’

By TOLOnews TV Network 3 March 2021 Khalilzad has met with influential political figures and Afghan government leaders over the future government.  A US State Department official on condition of anonymity told TOLOnews on Wednesday that the United States has suggested an international conference on Afghanistan. The US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad during his

Three Women Working for a News Outlet Gunned Down in Afghanistan

By Zabihullah Ghazi and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times March 2, 2021, 1:12 p.m. ET The women, the latest victims in a wave of targeted attacks, were killed on their way home from their jobs at Enikass Radio and TV in Jalalabad. Hospital workers and relatives moving the body of one of the three media workers killed in

Report: US wasted billions on cars, buildings in Afghanistan

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press/AP 1 March 2021 FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, birds flyover the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday, March 1, 2021, by the

Taliban Warn Turning Away from Afghan Peace Deal ‘Doomed to Failure’ 

By Ayaz Gul Voice of America/VOA February 28, 2021 FILE – In this Sept. 12, 2020 photo, a Taliban delegation arrive to attend the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. ISLAMABAD – The Taliban demanded Sunday that the United States and its foreign military allies

One Year On, Govt Sees No Progress in US-Taliban Deal

Afghanistan Times February 28, 2021 AT News KABUL: The Taliban militants have threatened to launch an “unprecedented war” in Afghanistan if the United States doesn’t withdraw its soldiers agreed last year in a peace deal Washington signed with the Taliban. The deal that was signed by then president Donald Trump on February 28, 2020, is

‘I Wake Up and Scream’: Secret Taliban Prisons Terrorize Thousands

By Adam Nossiter Photographs by Kiana Hayeri The New York Times Feb. 27, 2021 A potential U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, coupled with a weak Afghan security force, mean the Taliban will likely continue to capture, condemn and torture thousands. FAIZABAD, Afghanistan — The Taliban prison is a ruined house, a cave, a filthy basement in an

One Year On, Govt Sees No Progress in US-Taliban Deal

Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 28 Feb 2021 The Taliban has said that the deal is a practical step toward achieving peace and stability in the country. The deal signed between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Taliban marked a one-year anniversary on Sunday, with the Afghan government saying that the accord did not end up

Top Democrat Warns Against a Hasty Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Afghanistan

By Eric Schmitt The New York Times Feb. 24, 2021 Senator Jack Reed said he favored seeking an extension of the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops that President Donald Trump and the Taliban negotiated last year. American troops in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in 2019. The United States has 2,500 troops in the country.Credit…Jim

Taliban blames Kabul, Washington for not abiding by Doha deal

Osama Bin Javaid Al Jazeera 24 Feb 2021 Taliban accuses the Afghan government and the US of not fully honouring the agreement signed last year. Doha, Qatar – The Taliban has blamed the Afghan government and its Western allies for not living up to the agreement signed last year despite months of negotiations, including the release of

Taliban Asks Its Members to Avoid Harboring Foreign Fighters

 TOLOnews TV Network 24 Feb 2021 The Taliban has asked its members to avoid giving shelter to foreign fighters and not allow them to join their ranks.  Amidst doubts in the Taliban’s commitment to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the group has asked its members to avoid harboring foreign fighters and

Afghan Civilian Casualties Soared After Peace Talks’ Start

By David Zucchino The New York Times Feb. 23, 2021, 1:01 a.m. ET Fighting intensified in the last quarter of 2020, after talks between the Afghan government and Taliban began. Before then, it had been a less deadly year than before. Family members mourning Ahmad Ali Mohammedi, who was fatally shot at Kabul University on Nov. 2.Credit…Farzana

Afghanistan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive amid rising violence

Reuters Staff FEBRUARY 23, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan began its first COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, administering doses initially to security force members, health workers and journalists, in a campaign that may face challenges from a sharp rise in violence. The war-damaged country received 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from the Serum Institute of India

Peace Negotiators Meet After More Than Month-Long Gap in Talks; Afghanistan ‘Not Vietnam’: Ghani

By TOLOnews TV Network 22 Feb 2021 Taliban spokesman says the working groups were asked to continue their meetings on the agenda. A meeting was held between heads and some members of the negotiating teams in Doha on Monday evening and was focused on the continuation of the negotiations, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said. He

Biden Vows to Work Together with NATO on Afghanistan

Syed Zabiullah Langari Tolo News 19 Feb 2021 German Chancellor said Germany is ready to stay longer in Afghanistan if it is in the interest of its allies. US President Joe Biden while addressing the Munich Security Conference on Friday said that the United States will work together with its allies in Europe and that

Russia steps in, trying to aid stalled Afghan peace process

By Kathy Gannon | AP Feb. 19, 2021 at 12:04 p.m. EST In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations, Zamir Kabulov, left, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan meets with Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, I Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. Kabulov was in Pakistan, a key regional player in efforts

US Will Not Undertake Hasty Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Austin

By TOLOnews TV Network 19 Feb 2021 Austin made clear that he is committed to consulting with Allies and partners throughout this process. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin on Thursday said the United States would not undertake a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan. Addressing the second and final day of the NATO Defense

Afghanistan peace talks under threat as major Taliban spring offensive takes shape

By Hamid Shalizi, Charlotte Greenfield Reuters 17 Feb 2021 KABUL/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Unusually intense fighting in the winter by Taliban insurgents has spurred Afghan government preparations for more violence in the warmer spring, which international players fear will further endanger the nation’s fragile peace process. Nearly a year after Washington signed a troop-withdrawal deal with the

Sopko Emphasizes Importance of US Support to Afghan Women

TOLOnews TV Network 18 February 2021 Sopko says the US investment on Afghan women is an investment in Afghanistan’s future. US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko on Wednesday emphasized the importance of the United States support to Afghan women and said inattention to women in Afghanistan can lead to a tragedy

Russian Envoy Calls for Transitional Govt in Afghanistan

Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 17 February 2021 Kabulov said that the Taliban’s insistence on the return of the emirate will jeopardize the peace process. Russian Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov in an interview with Sputnik said that Moscow prefers that all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan agree on the establishment of an inclusive

Taliban Keeps Close Ties with Al-Qaeda: Report

TOLOnews TV Network 17 February 2021 According to the UN monitoring team’s last report in January, there are 200 to 500 Al-Qaeda fighters. Taliban has kept up a close relationship with Al-Qaeda despite having pledged to stop cooperating with the group, according to the head of a UN panel monitoring the insurgency reported by NBC

Warring Sides Prepare for Spring Offensive Despite Peace Efforts

By Tamim Hamid TOLOnews Reporter 15 February 2021 Taliban movements have been reported in Kunduz, Baghlan, Uruzgan, Kandahar and Helmand provinces in recent weeks. While the issue of peace with the Taliban this year has been among the hot topics in the country, there are reports that the warring parties are preparing for war in

Russia wants Iran inclusion in Afghan peace negotiations

Afghanistan Times AT News Reports February 16, 2021 KABUL: The Russian government emphasizes that Iran should be included in the quadrilateral format for Afghan peace talks. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said in an interview that Moscow wants Iran be included in the format of Russia, China and the United States on peace negotiations of

Taliban Insists on US Pullout in Open Letter to American People

By Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 16 February 2021 In the letter,  the Taliban also said that they will respect women’s rights in accordance to the Islamic principles. In an open letter to the American public, the Taliban’s leader Mullah Abdullah Abdul Ghani Baradar urged the United States to abide by its commitments to withdraw US forces

The Taliban Close In on Afghan Cities, Pushing the Country to the Brink

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Taimoor Shah Photographs by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times Feb. 15, 2021 The Taliban have positioned themselves around several major population centers, including the capital of Kandahar Province, as the Biden administration weighs whether to withdraw or to stay. PANJWAI, Afghanistan — The Taliban have been encroaching on key cities around Afghanistan for months,

AAN Q&A: Mediation or facilitation “would help” in the Doha talks

Afghanistan Analysts Network AAN Team  14 Feb 2021 The intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha are stalling since the first round ended in December 2020 with an agreement on the talks’ rules of procedure and both parties forwarding their lists of items for an agenda for the next rounds. In order to find out where there are

NATO Not Leaving Afghanistan Before ‘Time Is Right’

By TOLOnews TV Network 15 February 2021 Stoltenberg says NATO has significantly adjusted its presence as part of the Afghan peace process. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a pre-ministerial press conference on Monday reiterated that the presence of the alliance’s troops in Afghanistan is “conditions-based,” saying “we will not leave before the time is right.”

Int’l Troops in Afghanistan Favor No One: Taliban

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 14 February 2021 An Afghan negotiator says international forces withdrawal in the absence of an agreement on peace will lead to a civil war. As the NATO defense ministers meeting comes to a close, the Taliban in a message to NATO leaders said the continuation of foreign forces’ presence in Afghanistan

Taliban Controls 52% of Territory in Afghanistan; Taliban Has Shown No Will for Peace, Mohib Says

By Tamim Hamid TOLOnews Reporter 13 February 2021 Survey shows 59 percent of the Afghan population lives in areas under the government’s control. A survey by an Afghan news agency shows that the Taliban controls at least 52 percent of the country’s territory while 59 percent of the population lives in areas under the government’s control.

Biden Vows to Bring ‘Responsible End to Wars’

By TOLOnews TV Network 11 February 2021 US President Joe Biden said that the “force should be a tool of last resort, not the first.”   The US President Joe Biden in his first visit to the Pentagon as commander-in-chief, has promised to work with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin and leaders around the world “to

Danesh Says Interim Setup Will Bring More Violence

By Massoud AnsarTOLOnews Reporter 12 February 2021 Second Vice President Sarwar Daneh says an interim setup will bring more violence in the country. Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh on Friday slammed the Taliban for the high level of violence and bringing up “new preconditions,” stressing the need for preserving the current political system in

US goes one year without a combat death in Afghanistan as Taliban warn against reneging on peace deal

By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 8, 2021 A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Sgt. 1st Class Javier J. Gutierrez, of San Antonio, Texas, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Feb. 10, 2020. Gutierrez was killed in eastern Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 8, 2020, one of the last two

Gov’t employees, police officers among 8 killed in Afghanistan

Al Jazeera 9 February 2021 String of attacks kills four government employees and four policemen, officials say, amid relentless violence in the war-torn country. A string of attacks in Afghanistan has killed four government employees and four policemen, officials said. In the capital, Kabul, gunmen on Tuesday opened fire in the Bagh-e-Daud neighbourhood and killed

Taliban Violence ‘Simply Too High’: Gen. MacKenzie

By TOLOnews TV Network 8 February 2021 MacKenzie says the US is taking a close look at the way forward in accordance with the February 2020 peace agreement.  The commander of the United States Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, says the level of violence in Afghanistan remains too high and that the US is reviewing

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Afghanistan from India

By Abdul Qadir Sediqi Reuters FEBRUARY 7, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan received 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from India on Sunday, the first to arrive in the country, which is still waiting for emergency approval from the World Health Organisation before it can use them. Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, head of the immunisation program at

Politicians Claim to Have Seen Draft Outline of Future Govt

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 7 February 2021S The Presidential Palace said that the establishment of an interim government is unacceptable. R Some Afghan politicians have expressed different views about a draft outline of a future government, which they claim to have seen recently. Mohammad Ismail Khan, former mujahideen leader and former minister of energy and

Inside the Shadowy Militias Luring Unsuspecting Afghans to Fight, or Die

By Fahim Abed and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Feb. 4, 2021, 3:00 a.m. ET Afghanistan’s poor are being deceived into defending outposts from the Taliban, sometimes under the guise of construction work — a scheme partially bankrolled by the government. Policemen stationed at a guard post on Mazar-i-Sharif’s defensive walls in Balkh Province last month.Credit…Jim Huylebroek

Taliban on diplomatic blitz after Afghan peace talks stall

Kathy Gannon The Associated Press 4 February 2021 In this file photo released Jan. 31, 2021, by Tasnim News Agency, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second right, meets with a Taliban political team, in Tehran, Iran. (Tasnim News Agency via AP, File) ISLAMABAD — The Taliban have been on a diplomatic blitz since peace

U.S. Should Slow Withdrawal From Afghanistan, Bipartisan Panel Urges

By Julian E. Barnes and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Feb. 3, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET A study group appointed by Congress finds that removing international forces by the May 1 date set in the 2020 U.S.-Taliban peace agreement could lead to a civil war in Afghanistan. American soldiers returning home after a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan,

Abdullah: Women’s Gains Will Not be Compromised

By Fariba Sadat Tolo News 2 February 2021 Abdullah pledged that women’s rights will not be ignored in the peace talks.  Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, on Tuesday inaugurated the women’s commission of the council and said that there is a need to guarantee the role of the public in

Hazaras fear for future as Afghanistan risks slipping into chaos

Al Jazeera 3 Feb. 2021 Fearing the government will collapse and country may descend again into civil war, Hazaras start to prepare for the worst. The choice was straightforward for Hamidullah Asadi, a member of Afghanistan’s minority Hazara community – wait for the next deadly attack or join a growing militia. After spending months recovering

‘Islamic Govt to Replace Current Govt in Afghanistan’: Taliban

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 2 February 2021 However, the Office of National Security Council (ONSC) has said that it is premature to talk about the political system in Afghanistan. The Taliban have said that an Islamic government will replace the current government in Afghanistan under the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani as a result of peace

Taliban: Fight Will Continue if Int’l Forces Stay

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 1 February 2021 NATO spokesperson says no decision has been made and NATO defense ministers will address Afghanistan at their February meeting. The Reuters report quoting anonymous sources saying international forces will stay in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline has drawn responses from official NATO spokespeople, analysts and the Taliban. The

Taliban attacks increased in Afghan capital, says US watchdog

Al Jazeera 1 Feb 2021 Taliban attacks in the Afghan capital of Kabul are on the rise, with increasing targeted killings of government officials, civil society leaders and journalists, a report by a US watchdog says. The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known as SIGAR, on Monday comes as the Biden

Iran’s Zarif calls for ‘inclusive government’ in Taliban talks

Maziar Motamedi Al Jazeera 31 Jan 2021 Tehran finds itself in a delicate position in talks to stop violence in neighbouring Afghanistan. Tehran, Iran – Iran will only support an “inclusive” government in neighbouring Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a top Taliban delegation. In a Sunday meeting with the group led by senior Taliban

Foreign Troops to Stay in Afghanistan Beyond May

By Rupam Jain, Charlotte Greenfield Reuters 31 January 2021 ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – International troops plan to stay in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline envisaged by the insurgent Taliban’s deal with the United States, four senior NATO officials said, a move that could escalate tensions with the Taliban demanding full withdrawal. “There will be no full withdrawal

Drawdowns of troops in Germany and Afghanistan up in the air

Meghann Myers Military Times 28 January 2021 The Pentagon is still working with a May deadline for a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, but a Defense Department spokesman told reporters on Thursday that the way ahead is unclear. The White House under President Donald Trump spent much of 2020 beating the drum for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan, which

Afghan Govt ‘Flexible’ With Peace Process: Omer

By Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 31 January 2021 Omer said the government has taken important steps for peace, but the Taliban has not addressed any of its commitments. President Ashraf Ghani has rejected the prospect of an interim government and has emphasized that the election is the main route to the transfer of power, while his

Violence May Delay U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

By Adam Nossiter and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Jan. 29, 2021 The Biden administration is reviewing a deal between its predecessor and the Taliban for a May 1 deadline to pull all American troops out of the country. Afghan police at a checkpoint in Kabul earlier this month.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times  KABUL, Afghanistan

Taliban Sees Afghan Govt As Main Hurdle for Peace

By Siyar Sirat  Tolo News 29 January 2021 Abbas Stanekzai says that they will not lay down their arms unless foreign forces leave Afghanistan. A key negotiator of the Taliban on Friday said that President Ashraf Ghani’s government in Kabul is the “only hurdle” for the Afghan peace process, blaming President Ghani for prolonging the process

Abdullah: Talks Should Focus on Ceasefire, Violence Reduction

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 28 January 2021 This comes as the talks between the republic side and the Taliban have stalled over the past 11 days. Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, on Thursday said that he has instructed the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in

Amid Biden-Ordered Review of Afghanistan Troop Drawdown, Report Finds al-Qaida Gaining Strength | By Richard Sisk 27 Jan 2021 Col. Mark Geraldi, USACE Transatlantic Afghanistan District Commander, along with Sergeant First Class Joseph Harrison, and Sergeant Major Nathan Marshall case the command colors at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, December 16, 2020. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Cheryl Moore) The Biden administration’s review of the Afghanistan withdrawal strategy under new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

Biden administration asks US negotiator with Taliban to stay on

Al Jazeera 28 January 2021 Zalmay Khalilzad, who brokered peace deal with Afghanistan’s Taliban, has been asked to continue his ‘vital work’. Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’s negotiator who brokered a deal with Afghanistan’s Taliban, has been asked to stay in his post under President Joe Biden even as the administration reiterated it was assessing

8,500 Civilians Killed, Wounded in Afghanistan in 2020

Zahra Rahimi TOLOnews Reporter 27 January 2021 Based on the AIHRC report,  up to 3,000 Afghan civilians were killed and over 5,000 were wounded in war in 2020. The annual report of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) shows that over 8,500 civilians in Afghanistan were killed and wounded due to war and violence

Taliban prisoners released under peace deal arrested after rejoining fight, official says

By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 25, 2021 Taliban prisoners line up at Bagram prison before being released on May 26, 2020. Hundreds of Taliban prisoners released under the U.S.-Taliban peace deal have been rearrested after rejoining the insurgency, Afghanistan’s national security advisor said. KABUL, Afghanistan — Hundreds of Taliban prisoners released

Taliban backs Afghan vaccine drive after COVAX pledges $112 million

By Hamid Shalizi, Abdul Qadir Sediqi Reuters January 26, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents on Tuesday gave their backing to a vaccination programme to which the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme has pledged $112 million. Announcing the funding, an Afghan health official said the programme would cover the 20% of the population. The COVAX

Biden inherits stalled Afghan peace process and looming troop withdrawal date

By J.P. LAWRENCE  STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 22, 2021 In a 2011 visit to Afghanistan, then-Vice President Joe Biden listens to Afghan Brig. Gen. Amlaqullah Patyani, commander of Kabul Military Training Center. In the center is Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander of the International Security Force. As president, Biden must determine whether to

SIGAR: Smugglers Use VIP Security Bypass at Kabul Airport

By TOLOnews TV Network 25 January 2021 According to the report, VVIP passengers bypass all security procedures and their vehicles are cleared to drop them directly near their planes on the tarmac.  The US Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in a report published on Jan. 14 says that since the collapse of the Taliban regime

Afghan Officials Optimistic About Ties with Biden Administration

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 24 January 2021 Officials said the former US administration did not share organized information about the peace process with the Afghan government. Following the US national security adviser’s phone call with Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib, hope has emerged among Afghan officials that Kabul’s ties with Washington will strengthen and more accurate

Khalilzad’s Mission as US Peace Envoy Extended; US to review deal with the Taliban

By Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter 26 January 2021 The Afghan government has in the past reacted cautiously with the mission by Khalilzad. President Joe Biden’s administration has extended Zalmay Khalilzad’s mission as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation for an unspecific period of time, US sources have told TOLOnews. US sources added that the Biden

Biden Administration to Review Taliban Peace Deal

Afghanistan Today AT News January 20, 2021 KABUL: The new US President Joe Biden wants to review a peace deal his predecessor Donald Trump signed with Taliban insurgents last February. The announcement over the review comes as Afghan government has some considerations and objections to the peace deal. Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for secretary of

Pakistan urges Biden to stick to Afghan troop withdrawal

Asad Hashim Al Jazeera 21 Jan 2021 Pakistan FM tells Al Jazeera the country has hopes for greater engagement with the new Biden administration. Karachi, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said his country has hopes for greater engagement with the new United States government and called on Joe Biden to follow up

Ghani Warns of ‘Severe Consequences’ of Interim Setup

By Massoud Ansar TOLOnews Reporter 22 January 2021 President Ghani says Afghanistan’s constitution is the most Islamic constitution in the world. President Ashraf Ghani who visited the western province of Herat on Thursday said that those who are rallying for an interim setup has no understanding from the severe consequences of the plan for the nation. 

Biden’s Team Kept in Dark Over Afghanistan Drawdown

By TOLOnews, TV Network 21 January 2021 Politico says the story is based on conversations with 10 Pentagon and Biden officials involved in the transition. The Pentagon blocked members of President Joe Biden’s incoming administration from gaining access to critical information about current operations, including the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, Politico reported on Wednesday. Politico says

‘There Is No Safe Area’: In Kabul, Fear Has Taken Over

By Adam Nossiter The New York Times Jan. 17, 2021 A new wave of violence and a growing uncertainty about the country’s future have left Afghans in the capital with a constant sense of fear. A police checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, this month.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times  KABUL, Afghanistan — In Kabul’s uncertain present,

Billions in aid needed to help Afghan children in 2021

Al Jazeera 19 January 2021 Save the Children says more than 18 million Afghans, including 9.7 million children, are in need of urgent support. Some 10 million children in war-ravaged Afghanistan are at risk of not having enough food to eat in 2021, a humanitarian organisation says, calling for billions in new funds for aid.

Gunmen kill two female Supreme Court judges in Afghanistan

By Abdul Qadir Sediqi Reuters JANUARY 17, 2021 KABUL (Reuters) – Unidentified gunmen killed two female judges from Afghanistan’s Supreme Court on Sunday morning, police said, adding to a wave of assassinations in Kabul and other cities while government and Taliban representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar. The two judges, who have not yet

Afghan Partners Call for Ceasefire, Expedited Peace Effort

By TOLOnews, TV Network 17 January 2021 Chief negotiator Masoom Stanekzai said serious discussions on the agreed points will start by end of this week. Afghanistan’s international partners in a meeting with Afghan officials held virtually today announced their support for the peace efforts, ceasefire and humanitarian values in the country, said the High Council for

‘I Could Just Vanish’: In Kabul, Pocket Notes to Prevent Anonymous Death

By David Zucchino and Fatima Faizi The New York Times Jan. 12, 2021 As violence engulfs them, some Afghans carry notes with their names, blood types and relatives’ phone numbers in case they are killed or severely wounded.  For some young people, the pocket note has become an essential element of daily life — an identity marker ensuring

She Killed an American in 2012. Why Was She Freed in the Taliban Deal?

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman The New York Times Jan. 15, 2021, 12:01 p.m. ET The internal debate in Washington over the fate of an Iranian prisoner in Afghanistan illustrates one of the difficult decisions the end of a war brings. A portrait of Nargis Mohammad Hasan hanging in her home in 2012. Ms. Hasan,

U.S. troops in Afghanistan now down to 2,500, lowest since 2001

By Idrees Ali Reuters 15 January 2021 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S troops in Afghanistan has been reduced to 2,500, the lowest level of American forces there since 2001, the Pentagon said on Friday. In November, President Donald Trump’s administration said it would sharply cut the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500

Afghans Fear Losing Gains in Women’s Rights in Peace: Report

Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews Reporter 15 January 2021 Negotiators are expected to expedite their efforts to finalize the agenda in the next few days, sources said. Negotiators from both sides of the peace negotiations held meetings with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha over the past few days as they try

Peace talks are faltering, violence has surged, and U.S. troops are pulling out. Can the Afghan government withstand the pressure?

Pamela Constable The Washington Post Jan. 14, 2021 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives at parliament in Kabul in October. Ghani is facing calls to step down to help the peace talks with the Taliban. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images) KABUL — Growing uncertainty over peace talks with the Taliban, a drumbeat of targeted killings and the looming

Why Afghanistan-Taliban peace talks have not reached breakthrough

Osama Bin Javaid Al Jazeera 12 Jan 2021 Negotiators are back in Doha for a second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Doha, Qatar – It has been almost a week since negotiators arrived back in Doha to resume a second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the

Intl Crisis Group Outlines Challenges for Biden in Afghan Efforts

TOLOnews TV Network 13 January 2021 The watchdog says that it is “inarguable that the insurgency remains operational, even aggressive, across the country.” The International Crisis Group, in a briefing titled “What Future for Afghan Peace Talks under a Biden Administration?”, analyses various aspects of Biden administration’s role in Afghanistan’s peace efforts and says he

Pentagon presses ahead with Afghanistan troop drawdown despite law barring it

By Jonathan Landay, Idrees Ali Reuters 11 January 2021 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has not halted a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Department of Defense told Reuters on Monday, despite a new law prohibiting further reductions without the Pentagon sending Congress an assessment of the risks. “Currently, no new orders have been issued

US ‘Not Advocating’ Interim Govt in Afghanistan; Key Negotiators Not in Doha for 2nd Round

By TOLOnews TV Network 13 January 2021 US Chargé d’Affaires said that talked to US peace envoy for Afghanistan about the need to accelerate the talks in Doha. The US chargé d’affaires in Kabul, Ross Wilson, on Twitter Wednesday wrote that the US is ‘not advocating’ an interim government in Afghanistan. “We have not advocated, and

Afghan Leaders Sideline Spokesmen in an Escalating Misinformation War

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Fahim Abed and Najim Rahim The New York Times Jan. 11, 2021 The Ghani administration and the Taliban are fighting a public-relations battle, with the government taking more drastic measures to control the flow of information. The site of a rocket attack at a house in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month. The government has tightened the control

Officials: Attacks around Afghanistan kill at least 23

By Rahim Faiez | AP The Washington Post Jan. 7, 2021 at 3:38 a.m. EST Covered bodies of civilians lie in the back of a vehicle in front of the Helmand Provincial Government Office in Lashkar Gah, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Officials said separate attacks in Afghanistan have left over 20 civilians and security

Ghani Rejects Prospect of Interim Govt

y Anisa Shaheed TOLOnews Reporter7 January 2021 “This seat is not mine, this seat (presidency) belongs to the nation of Afghanistan, this system has dignity, you all voted for me,” said Ghani. The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday, referring to the recent rumors about the establishment of an interim government as an outcome of a

An ‘orchard of bad apples’ weighs on new Afghan peace talks

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press January 5, 2021 FILE – In this Sept. 12, 2020, file photo, Taliban negotiator Abbas Stanikzai, center front, and his delegation attend the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in Doha, Qatar. Afghan negotiators are to resume talks Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, aimed at

‘No Progress’ in Negotiators’ Meetings in 3 Days

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 11 January 2021 Sources said that the republic’s negotiating team is insisting on ceasefire as a priority in their formal talks. Sources from the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan said that agreeing on the agenda for the negotiations will take time and that neither side has shown flexibility

Afghan rivals set to resume talks in Doha amid surge in violence

Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera 5 Jan 2021 A road map for post-war Afghanistan and a nationwide ceasefire are part of the agenda of Tuesday’s talks. Afghan government representatives and Taliban officials are set to resume peace talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, aimed at ending decades of conflict, even as journalists and opponents have been

Peace process risks collapse as targeted attacks flares

Afghanistan Times AT News  January 4, 2021  U.S. blames Taliban for spate of Afghan killings in unclaimed targeted attacks, while the Taliban accused U.S. of violating peace agreement, threaten ‘serious response’ to U.S. airstrikes KABUL: The US military on Monday blamed the Taliban for a spate of assassinations of prominent Afghans in unclaimed attacks that

Targeted Killings Are Terrorizing Afghans. And No One Is Claiming Them.

By Fahim Abed and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Jan. 2, 2021 Most officials believe the Taliban are behind the attacks on civil leaders, but others fear that factions are using chaos as a cover to settle scores, in an echo of Afghanistan’s past civil war. Afghan security officials inspecting the scene of a magnetic bomb

What to Know as Troubled Afghan Peace Talks Enter a New Phase

By David Zucchino and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Jan. 1, 2021 The Afghan government and the Taliban are set to continue negotiations toward a cease-fire in early January, but several fundamental issues stand in the way of progress Afghan government and Taliban negotiators meeting in Doha, Qatar, in September. The next round of talks is

Next Round of Talks to Focus on Future Govt: Mansoor

By Massoud Ansar TOLOnews Reporter 2 January 2021 Mansoor said he will support the idea of an interim government if the country’s achievements are protected.   As the countdown begins for the next round of the peace negotiations, negotiator Abdul Hafiz Mansoor said the talks will focus on the modality of division of power in a future

Taliban carrying out campaign of terror in Afghan capital ahead of peace talks next week

Pamela Constable and Sharif Hassan The Washington Post Jan. 1, 2021 at 12:57 p.m. EST A damaged vehicle on Monday after a bomb attack targeting government employees in Kabul. (Hedayatullah Amid/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) KABUL — In a video, five turbaned fighters stand in a row, wearing flak jackets and sneakers, assault rifles at the ready. One says in

Winter Puts 300K Afghan Children at Risk

By Syed Zabiullah Langari  Tolo News 31 December 2020 “There they risk hunger, disease, including COVD-19, even death from freezing temperatures,” the organization said. More than 300,000 Afghan children face freezing winter conditions that could lead to illness, in the worst cases death, without proper winter clothing and heating, Save the Children said on Thursday.

How life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan has changed — and how it hasn’t

Susannah George and Aziz Tassal The Washington Post Dec. 29, 2020 KABUL — Over two decades of conflict and politicking, Taliban control in Afghanistan has become a patchwork of edicts and codes, with some areas seeing modest reform. But overall, fear and intimidation remain at the heart of the militant group’s command. In one district, elders successfully

Qatar to host next round of Afghan gov’t-Taliban talks

Tolo News 27 December 2020 Next round of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan gov’t will begin next month, a top official has said. The next round of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government will be held in Qatar from next month, a top official said, despite President Ashraf Ghani’s recent calls

Miller says last US troops in Afghanistan will be special operations forces

By CAITLIN M. KENNEY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 23, 2020 A U.S. soldier looks out the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter as it flies over Kabul on the way to Resolute Support Headquarters on Dec. 22, 2020. KABUL, Afghanistan — Special operations forces were the first deployed in the war in Afghanistan nearly

Assassins silence another ‘voice of Afghan democracy’ in Kabul killing

Pamela Constable and Sharif Hassan The Washington Post Dec. 24, 2020 Afghans carry the coffin of Yousuf Rasheed, executive director of the nongovernmental Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan, during his funeral Dec. 23 in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul/AP) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Yousuf Rasheed was a soft-spoken, meticulous professional whose mission was to monitor and help

New in 2021: US troop presence heading down to 2,500 in Iraq and Afghanistan

Meghann Myers Military Times 28 December 2020 Afghan National Army soldiers, along U.S. and coalition advisors prepare to conduct an extraction following a key leader engagement Sept 1, 2019, in southeastern Afghanistan. (Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea/Army) The global war on terrorism is hitting a drawdown milestone on Jan. 15, when U.S. troop levels hit 2,500 each

‘Covid Can’t Compete.’ In a Place Mired in War, the Virus Is an Afterthought.

By David Zucchino and Fahim Abed The New York Times Dec. 21, 2020 In Afghanistan, life goes on as though the coronavirus never existed. “Fake news,” some say, even as a second wave has brought on a surge of new cases and hospitalizations. KABUL, Afghanistan — For Mohammad Wakil, 23, social distancing is an abstract concept. Every working

Armed by Iran, 2,000 Afghans Still in Syria: Zarif

 Tamim Hamid  TOLOnews Reporter 21 December 2020 Talking in an exclusive interview with TOLOnews’ Lotfullah Najafizada, Zarif said that Iran has not sent any Afghans to Syria war. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in an interview that aired on Monday, said that 2,000 Afghans are still fighting in Syria and that Iran would be


The CIA Is Running Death Squads in Afghanistan Reports of atrocities supported by the American intelligence agency underscore the need to end America’s longest war. By Jeet HeerTwitter 21 December 2020 The war in Afghanistan, now in its 19th year, is the longest and most intractable of America’s forever wars. There are now American soldiers fighting in

UN Reaches Deal with Taliban to Set Up Schools in Afghanistan

By Massoud Ansar TOLOnews 18 December 2020 Based on the agreement, about 4,000 schools in Taliban-influenced areas will teach 120,000 primary school children. The United Nations has reached an agreement with the Taliban leadership to set up thousands of schools in areas under their influence in Afghanistan. According to the plan, UNICEF, the UN’s children’s body,

Pentagon’s top general meets with Taliban ahead of presidential transition in U.S.

Dan Lamothe The Washington Post Dec. 18, 2020 Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (left), talks with Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, on Dec. 16. (Robert Burns/AP) The Pentagon’s top general met with the Taliban as senior U.S. and Afghan officials press for

How US wasted billions on absurd errors in Afghanistan war

By Hollie McKay | Fox News December 8, 2020 Debates continue over US war investment For almost two decades, the U.S. military has siphoned much blood, sweat, and tears into fighting the insurgencies littering Afghanistan. In the coming weeks, the Pentagon plans to accelerate the troop drawdown from 4,500 to 2,500 under orders from President Trump – leaving behind a

Sticky and Lethal: Magnetic Bombs Terrorize Kabul

By David Zucchino and Fahim Abed The New York Times Dec. 17, 2020 The Taliban’s recent shift to magnetic bombs to target government officials in the capital underscores the government’s struggle to protect its own people. Afghan security forces inspecting the site of a magnetic bomb attack that killed Kabul’s deputy governor, Mahbubullah Mohibi, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on

UN: Additional 5M Afghans May Need Humanitarian Aid in 2021

By Zahra Rahimi TOLOnews Reporter 15 December 2020 In an interview with TOLOnews, Rajasingham said that 93 percent of the population in Afghanistan is living on less than a two-dollar daily wage. Ramesh Rajasingham, the acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, has raised deep concerns over the fragile humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, saying that war and

Documents Reveal Negotiators’ Demands for Talks Agenda

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews 14 December 2020 Both sides of the negotiations have exchanged their lists of demands and now have 23 days to discuss it internally with their respective leaders. TOLOnews has seen the drafts of demands exchanged between peace negotiators in Doha for the agenda of the talks. The documents show that the Islamic

Scores of Taliban Militants Killed as Fighting Rocks Insurgent Bastion

By Rashid Durrani Agence France Presse (AFP) 13 December 2020 Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint near the Bagram base in northern Kabul, Afghanistan, April 8, 2020. An Afghan official said Wednesday that the country has released 100 Taliban prisoners from Bagram, claiming they are part of 5,000 detainees who are to

Next Round of Talks Delayed Until January 5

By TOLOnews, TV Network 12 December 2020 Peace negotiators said the decision was made as there is a need for more consolations on the agenda of the talks. Negotiators in Doha on Saturday reported that both sides have exchanged their lists about the agenda of the peace negotiations and that the next phase of the talks

Afghan Journalist Is Killed in Latest Attack on Media Figures

By Zabihullah Ghazi and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Dec. 11, 2020 Gunmen attacked Malalai Maiwand, a well-known TV and radio journalist, in Jalalabad. Her death is one of a string of high-profile targeted killings in Afghanistan. Mourners carrying the coffin of Malalai Maiwand, a journalist killed by gunmen in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Thursday.Credit…Parwiz/Reuters JALALABAD, Afghanistan —

Taliban: Next Govt System Should be Inclusive, Islamic

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews 10 December 2020 Mullah Baradar stated that the next political system of Afghanistan should be an inclusive and an Islamic system.  The Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the Heart of Asia Society’s 7th session on Thursday, said the group has the will to solve Afghanistan’s conflict through negotiations.   He

Afghan civilian deaths from US air raids rose by more than 300 percent

AL JAZEERA 8 December 2020 Some 700 civilians killed in 2019 – more than any other year since the beginning of war – after the Pentagon relaxed its rules of engagement, the report says. Deaths of Afghan civilians in air raids carried out by the United States and its allies “increased dramatically” since 2017 when

Behind the Taliban’s ties to al-Qaeda: A shared ideology and decades of battlefield support

Susannah George The Washington Post Dec. 8, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. EST Members of the Taliban’s peace negotiation team meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar, in November. (Patrick Semansky/Pool/AP) KABUL — As the Taliban and the United States were finalizing their February

One Side—Not Both—is Increasing Violence in Afghanistan: Op-Ed

By Said Sabir Ibrahimi, Analyst Tolo News 8 December 2020 Said Sabir Ibrahimi writes that ambiguous rhetoric is creating a false narrative about the cause of increased violence in Afghanistan. The US-Taliban agreement in February 2020 created hope for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan. However, since then, violence has instead intensified across the country. The

US House Passes Bill to Block Afghanistan Withdrawal

By Zahra Rahimi TOLOnews 9 December 2020 US House urged that any decision to reduce US troops in Afghanistan should be done in an orderly manner. The House on Tuesday passed a $741 billion defense policy bill that would take steps to slow or block US President Trump’s planned drawdown of American troops from Germany and

Taliban denies targeting media after 50th journalist dies in Afghanistan

Stefanie Glinski in Kabul The Guardian Thu 3 Dec 2020 02.45 EST Rising violence by militants raises fears for press freedom after US troops withdraw in May An Afghan police officer investigates a car damaged in a bomb attack in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Photograph: Abdul Khaliq/AP The Taliban have denied they are deliberately targeting journalists

Afghan peace talks show first signs of progress after months of deadlock

Susannah George The Washington Post Dec. 3, 2020 Afghan security officials patrol the Herat-Khaf railway tracks in the Ghorian district of Herat province, Afghanistan, on Dec. 1. (Jalil Rezayee/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) KABUL — The Taliban and Afghan government teams negotiating peace reached an agreement on a set of rules and procedures Wednesday, a small but important step

Ceasefire Will Be on Agenda in Talks: Taliban Spokesman; Doha Breakthrough: Afghan Negotiators Agree on Procedural Rules

By Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews 4 December 2020 Taliban spokesman says the agenda will be made in agreement of both sides. Amid a breakthrough in Doha talks, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem on Friday said cea sefire will be on the agenda among other topics in the negotiations.  He said in a tweet that the agenda will be

NATO mulls its future in Afghanistan as US draws down troops

Lorne Cook The Associated Press 30 Nov. 2020 Afghan National Army soldier stand on top of a hill during a visit by Afghan Deputy Defense Minister Dr. Yasin Zia and Resolute Support Commander Gen. Scott Miller in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 3, 2020. (Spc. Jeffery J. Harris/Army Reserve) BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday

Trump Makes a Bad Situation Worse in Afghanistan

Jim Golby Senior fellow at the Clements Center for National Security 30 November 2020 The departing president neither embraced nor fully repudiated America’s mission. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/GETTY Since the day he entered office, President Donald Trump hasn’t been able to make up his mind about whether the United States should keep fighting in Afghanistan. His most recent

Afghan Leader Digs In on Peace Talks Despite Progress, Officials Say

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Published Nov. 29, 2020; Updated Nov. 30, 2020 President Ashraf Ghani is holding up a tentative agreement on the talks’ framework, some officials say. His aides say no agreement was near. Delegates at the talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Afghan government and the Taliban in September. The two sides

Negotiator Fawzia Koofi: ‘Doha Talks Entering New Phase’

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews 30 November 2020 Sources say agreements have been reached, but public announcements on the Kabul side are still pending. Peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi on Monday said the Doha talks have entered a new phase, but she did not offer further details.  A 21-article set of procedural rules was finalized by both sides

Car bombing at Afghan base kills at least 30

By Aziz Tassal and Susannah George The Washington Post November 30, 2020 A soldier holds a rocket-propelled grenade at an Afghan army base that was struck by a car bomb Sunday. (AFP/Getty Images) KABUL — A Humvee laden with explosives and backed by gunmen struck a government base in central Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least

The United States has closed at least 10 bases around Afghanistan. But drawdown details remain murky.

Susannah George and Dan Lamothe The Washington Post November 28, 2020 A U.S. Marine keeps watch during a meeting between Afghan commanders and U.S. advisers at Camp Bost in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in September 2017. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images) KABUL — The United States has closed at least 10 bases across Afghanistan since the signing of a

Afghan Conflict Rages Despite Efforts for Peace

By Khaled Nikzad TOLOnews 28 Nov 2020 Muslim clerics have also tried to persuade the Taliban to stop the violence and make peace. Fighting continues to grip Afghanistan despite political efforts for peace within the country and international and regional appeals to the warring sides to agree on a ceasefire.   Afghan officials have persistently stated that

World Renews Political, Financial Commitment to Afghanistan

By Zabihullah Jahanmal, Tolo News 24 November 2020 Josep Borrell, the EU Minister for Foreign Affairs, said violence in Afghanistan must stop, not tomorrow but by now. The international community at Afghanistan Conference 2020 in Geneva on Tuesday renewed their financial and political commitment to Afghanistan for another four years.    The 2020 Afghanistan Conference is

Reports of Progress in Talks Disputed

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews 29 November 2020 Negotiators from both sides of the Afghan negotiations have conflicting accounts about the reports of recent progress in their discussions. This comes a day after the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, Mohammad Naeem, said that negotiators from both sides on November 15 agreed on procedural rules with 21 items for

US Pullout in Afghanistan Will Empower the Taliban | By Richard Sisk 23 November 2020 Then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaks to reporters during the daily press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House on Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) The new Pentagon plan for accelerating the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan will speed a Taliban takeover and renew

The Taliban is on the offensive. Keeping the militants at bay: U.S. airstrikes, even as bases close and troops leave.

Susannah George The Washington Post November 22, 2020 A member of a bomb disposal unit prepares to move out to territory around Kandahar city recently retaken from Taliban control. (Susannah George/The Washington Post) KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The Taliban’s attacks outside this large provincial capital began this month with little out of the ordinary: sporadic small-arms

NATO: Stoltenberg, Ghani Discuss Peace, Troop Level Adjustment; UK will likely follow the US in cutting Afghan troops

By TOLOnews, TV Network 19 November 2020 NATO Secretary General says that even with the US reduction, NATO will continue to assist the Afghan forces. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on a phone call with President Ghani on Wednesday evening discussed the Afghan peace process and troops level adjustment with the Afghan leader. Stoltenberg said

Trump’s military cuts in Afghanistan highlight an array of divisions in a 19-year-old conflict

Dan Lamothe The Washington Post November 19, 2020 The longest war in U.S. history isn’t over, and there are still many disagreements about what to do. President Trump has ordered a reduction of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from about 5,000 to 2,500. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) As news emerged that the Trump administration will cut in half

As America pulls out of Afghanistan the Taliban fight on

The Economist Nov 18th 2020 Negotiations are not making much headway, but the insurgency is HERAT AND KABUL TO REACH THE front line in Afghanistan’s civil war, you do not need to go far from the capital, Kabul. At a police outpost in Wardak province, about 20km outside the city on the main highway leading

Donors Set 12 Conditions for Continued Support to Afghanistan

By Zabihullah Jahanmal, Tolo News 17 November 2020 From the 12 conditions, nine are belonged to the continued international aid to Afghanistan while three others belonged to the international community. TOLOnews has obtained a document that shows that the international community has defined 12 conditions as part of its continued financial aid to Afghanistan in the

U.S. Troops Are Packing Up, Ready or Not

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Najim Rahim and Fatima Faizi The New York Times Nov. 18, 2020 The Pentagon has announced a reduction down to 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan before President-elect Biden takes office. Afghan officials fear the cuts will encourage the Taliban to keep fighting. The Taliban have threatened areas surrounding Kandahar city, like the Panjwai District, shown on

Trump administration to cut troop levels in Afghanistan despite Pentagon warnings

Missy Ryan, Ellen Nakashima, Dan Lamothe and John Hudson The Washington Post November 17, 2020 Afghan security forces inspect the site of a bomb explosion near a damaged vehicle in Kabul on Nov 16. (Rahmat Gul/AP) The Trump administration is planning to move ahead with a significant reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan before President

Trump Pentagon Purge Could Accelerate His Goal to Pull Troops From Afghanistan

By Jennifer Steinhauer The New York Times Nov. 13, 2020 President Trump’s supporters hope he is the president to end America’s longest war. President Trump in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in 2019. His views on reducing the United States’ footprint overseas are a central component of his “America First” foreign policy agenda.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

New Pentagon Chief to US Troops: ‘Time to Come Home’

By TOLOnews 14 November 2020 Christopher Miller said the US is committed to defeating al-Qaeda and is “on the verge of defeating” the group. The newly appointed acting defense secretary of the United States, Christopher Miller, in a message signaled that he could expedite the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East, saying

Will Biden stay on the course set by Trump in Afghanistan?

Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera 11 Nov 2020 How will Joe Biden’s election as the US president affect the Afghan peace process, which was pushed by his predecessor, Donald Trump? How will Joe Biden’s election as US president affect the Afghan peace process, which was pushed by his predecessor, current President Donald Trump? Analysts say Biden

U.S. Troops Are Still Leaving, but Afghans Hope Biden Will Help

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Nov. 13, 2020,  Afghans fear the Taliban are subverting the peace process, and hope a Biden administration will bring more accountability. Afghan newspapers carried heavy coverage of the U.S. presidential elections this month.Credit…Wakil Kohsar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images  KABUL, Afghanistan — Three U.S. presidents and 19 years later, it

Defense secretary sent classified memo to White House about Afghanistan before Trump fired him

Dan Lamothe,  Missy Ryan,  Karen DeYoung and  Susannah George The Washington Post November 14, 2020 President Trump watches as Mark T. Esper speaks after being sworn in as secretary of defense on July 23, 2019. Trump fired Esper this week. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) In the run-up to the election, President Trump’s tweet saying that all

With Biden headed to White House, Afghan government hopes for tougher stance on Taliban

Susannah George and Karen DeYoung The Washington Post November 10, 2020 Abdullah Abdullah, center, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, attends the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in September. (Hussein Sayed/AP) KABUL — The stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban

Afghan Leaders Congratulate Biden, Expect More Focus on Peace; Koofi Remains Hopeful on Resuming Talks in Doha

By TOLOnews 8 November 2020 “We hope his administration’s policy and relations with Afghanistan will focus entirely on bringing peace and stability,” Karzai said.  President Ghani congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on wining the United States election and said Afghanistan looks forward to continuing and deepening its multilayered strategic partnership

Exclusive: International donors likely to pledge less for Afghanistan

By Rupam Jain, Charlotte Greenfield Reuters NOVEMBER 3, 2020 (Reuters) – Afghanistan is likely to receive reduced pledges for aid from international donors gathering in Geneva next month, three sources familiar with discussions said, amid uncertainty over how the government’s peace talks with the Taliban will progress. Washington is hoping the intra-Afghan peace process will eventually

Deadly School Assault Catapults Kabul into Even More Despair

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Fatima Faizi The New York Times Nov. 3, 2020 With the Americans scheduled to leave Afghanistan under a deal with the Taliban, the carnage at Kabul University seemed to erase the nation’s hope. A student looking at the ruins of a classroom on Tuesday at Kabul University, after an attack that killed at least

‘Act of terror’: At least 22 killed in Kabul University attack

Al Jazeera 2 November 2020 ISIL claim responsibility for attack on Afghanistan’s biggest university; President Ghani announces day of mourning. At least 22 people were killed and 22 other wounded when gunmen stormed Kabul University in a brutal, hours-long assault that saw students left in pools of blood in their classrooms. The attack in Afghanistan’s

U.S. special envoy calls for urgent reduction of violence in Afghanistan

OCTOBER 27, 2020 By Reuters Staff (Reuters) – The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan said on Tuesday that violence there was too high and the Kabul government and Taliban insurgents must work harder toward forging a ceasefire at their peace talks. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad made his comments ahead of flying to Doha to meet with the

Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians killed or wounded in 2020: U.N.

Reuters staff OCTOBER 27, 2020 KABUL (Reuters) – Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban insurgents rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations said on Tuesday. From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties

Taliban shows it can launch attacks anywhere across Afghanistan, even as peace talks continue

Pamela Constable The WWashington Post Oct. 25, 2020 at 6:02 a.m. EDT Afghan security forces removes a damaged police vehicle at the site of a car-bomb attack that targeted Laghman provincial governor’s convoy, in Mihtarlam, Afghanistan, on Oct. 5. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images) KABUL — The gruesome image showed two dozen corpses in military uniforms, dragged

A Radical Cleric Ignites an Islamist Resistance in Afghanistan

By David Zucchino and Najim Rahim Photographs by Jim Huylebroek The New York Times Oct. 23, 2020 The cleric’s supporters in Herat are enforcing harsh Shariah law reminiscent of the Taliban’s. Women are alarmed, and the government has been able to do little. Friday prayer at cleric Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari’s mosque in Herat, Afghanistan, last month. HERAT, Afghanistan

$19 billion in aid to Afghanistan lost to corruption: SIGAR

Afghanistan Times 21 October 2020  KABUL: Billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid to Afghanistan has been lost to widespread waste, and endemic corruption in the past 10 years, the US oversight authority on Afghanistan reconstruction says. The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, SIGAR, in a new report said that more than $19 billion

The U.S. Once Surged into Helmand Province. Now the Taliban Is, Too.

BY MOHSIN KHAN MOHMAND, ALI M. LATIFI Foreign Policy Magazine OCTOBER 20, 2020, 3:23 PM As Afghanistan peace talks drag on, with Washington sending mixed signals on troop withdrawals, the Taliban make a violent bid for a key province. Internally displaced people with their belongings flee from Nadali district to Lashkar Gah during the ongoing clashes between

A Storied Female Warlord Surrenders, Taliban Say, Exposing Afghan Weakness

By Mujib Mashal, Najim Rahim and Fatima Faizi The New York Times Oct. 18, 2020 She was undefeated in decades of war, but her decision was an act of survival. A government that has come to depend on unreliable militias finds itself vulnerable. Bibi Ayesha, an Afghan warlord, at her home in Nahrin district, Baghlan Province, Afghanistan, last month.Credit…Mohammad

Afghans say preventing next war as vital as ending this one

By KATHY GANNON Associated Press 18 October 2020 In this Monday, Aug. 3, 2020 file photo, Taliban prisoners watch through the door inside the prison after an attack in the city of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan has been at war for more than 40 years, first against the invading Soviet army that killed

Despite its 10-day assault in Helmand, Afghan Taliban accuse U.S. military of violating February accord

Pamela Constable The Washington Post October 18, 2020 at 10:10 a.m. EDT Afghan families leave their houses after fighting between the Afghan military and Taliban insurgents last week in Helmand province. (Abdul Khaliq/AP) KABUL — The Taliban, facing international condemnation for a 10-day assault in southern Helmand province, are accusing the U.S. military of violating

Trump Has ‘No Plan’ to Exit Afghanistan by Christmas: US Lawmaker

Massoud Ansar TOLOnews 30 October 2020 Afghan analysts said there is a need for US pressure on the Taliban to move the peace process forward. Weeks after President Donald Trump’s remarks that all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, a top US lawmaker said that there was no

U.S. and Taliban agree to “re-set” as Afghanistan peace deal marred by spiraling carnage

BY TUCKER REALS, AHMAD MUKHTAR OCTOBER 15, 2020 / 1:14 PM / CBS NEWS The Trump administration’s top envoy for Afghanistan said Thursday that the U.S. and the Taliban had “agreed to re-set actions by strictly adhering to” the terms of an agreement reached between the two sides earlier this year. The agreement was meant to reduce the

US, Taliban Agree to Reduce Operations: Khalilzad

 Syed Zabiullah Langari  Tolo News 15 October 2020 “We continue to support the ANDSF and the brave efforts made to create lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the UK Embassy said. The US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday urged the Taliban to remain committed to the implementation of the US-Taliban peace agreement, warning that

Afghans stunned, worried by Trump tweet to bring home U.S. troops early

Pamela Constable and  Sharif Hassan Oct. 13, 2020 Afghan police personnel man the Ali Nazar outpost in the area of Bolan, just outside Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, in February 2020. (Lorenzo Tugnoli/For The Washington Post) KABUL — After months of tortuous negotiations and diplomatic efforts to settle the 19-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, President

Taliban Test Afghan and U.S. Resolve in Talks by Attacking a City

By Mujib Mashal and Taimoor Shah The New York Times Oct. 12, 2020 Updated 12:24 p.m. ET The insurgents have opened an offensive against the capital of Helmand Province even as their negotiators remain at the table in Qatar. Afghans fled villages in Helmand Province on Monday as fighting between Taliban militants and government forces intensified.Credit…Watan Yar/EPA, via Shutterstock

With U.S. troops gone, Taliban expands influence in one Afghan province

By Susannah George and Aziz Tassal The Washington Post OCTOBER 11, 2020    GARDEZ, Afghanistan — Months after the Americans withdrew from this province in southeast Afghanistan, what little they left behind still lies scattered across the small military base: rations packaging for chicken pesto pasta, Rice Krispies cereal boxes, instant chocolate milk packets. Inside trailers, the floors are

Interim Govt ‘Only Solution’: Hekmatyar; Taliban cheers Trump vowing early troop withdrawal

Tolo News 25 October 2020 Pakistan has assured the leader of the Hizb-e-Islami party that Islamabad will work “honestly” in the Afghan peace process. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hizb-e-Islami party, at a press conference on Sunday said that “the Taliban has not accepted the current government and an interim government is the only solution.” 

Who are the Afghan women negotiating peace with the Taliban?

Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera 7 Oct 2020 They have risked their lives to educate girls and survived assassination attempts. Now they hope to end decades of war. Among many Afghan women and girls, there is a fear that the US-Taliban deal could potentially pave the way for the armed group’s return to power and to

Exclusive: Taliban, Afghan negotiators set ground rules to safeguard peace talks

By Rupam Jain Reuters 6 October 2020 (Reuters) – Taliban and Afghan government-backed negotiators have agreed on a broad code of conduct to advance the intra-Afghan peace talks in Qatar, even as key differences between the two warring sides remain, three official sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Efforts to resolve disagreements over Islamic jurisprudence and

At Afghan Peace Talks, Hoping to End Their Fathers’ War

By Mujib Mashal The New York Times Oct. 5, 2020 The children of the war against the Soviets carry legacies of loss and determination — and their own generation’s crimes — as they meet to try to break a cycle of devastation. Anas Haqqani, left, and Mawlawi Matiulhaq Khalis, second from right, arriving in Doha, Qatar,

In Proud Corners of Afghanistan, New Calls for Autonomy

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Fatima Faizi The New York Times Sept. 28, 2020 In Panjshir, one of the last holdout regions against the Soviets and the Taliban, some would prefer to go their own way rather than support a government negotiating peace with the insurgency. Supporters of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, waving the Northern Alliance flag on

Taliban: Doha Talks Need Patience, Not Mediators

By Sharif Amiry TOLOnews Reporter 1 October 2020 We will not allow anyone to interfere in our internal affairs,” said Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban. As US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad recently arrived in Doha to “meet with partners on Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace negotiations,” the Taliban’s spokesman Mohammad Naeem said that

Shadow politicians, clerics and Soviet-era fighters: The Taliban’s team negotiating peace

Susannah George, Aziz Tassal and Haq Nawaz Khan The Washington Post October 1, 2020 Members of the Taliban delegation attend the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Sept. 12. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images) DOHA, Qatar — The Taliban negotiating team that will determine the future

Afghan Talks: A Road Leading to Peace?

By Mohammad Reza Bahrami, 26 SEPTEMBER 2020 Mohammad Reza Bahrami, Iran’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, writes that the