Pentagon to cut troop levels to 2,500 in Iraq, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Tuesday the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills President Donald Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America’s long wars even as Republicans and U.S. allies warn of the dangers of withdrawing before conditions are right. […]

Taliban council agrees to cease-fire in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban’s ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn’t say when it would begin. A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement […]

Trump visits troops in Afghanistan, reveals US-Taliban talks

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, where he announced the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in ongoing peace talks and said he believes the Taliban want a cease-fire. Trump arrived at Bagram Air Field shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time Thursday and spent 3½ […]

Governor: Suicide bomb in southern Afghanistan kills 20

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A powerful suicide truck bomb devastated a hospital in southern Afghanistan early Thursday morning, killing 20 people and wounding 97 others, according to the province’s governor, while a deadly drone strike in the country’s east was blamed on U.S. forces. The Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, have carried […]

Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing this week in Kabul that killed 11 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group. Trump has been under pressure from the Afghan […]

Islamic State in Afghanistan aims to attack US, general says

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) — The Islamic State group in Afghanistan is a “very worrisome” threat to the United States, and U.S. counterterrorism efforts have yet to shrink its extremist ambitions, a senior American general said Wednesday. Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said IS would be hard pressed, however, to carry out an attack on […]

Afghan leader holds council to set agenda for Taliban talks

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s president opened a grand council on Monday of more than 3,200 Afghans seeking to agree on a common approach to peace talks with the Taliban, but the gathering may further aggravate divisions within the U.S.-backed government. President Ashraf Ghani hopes to showcase unity at the four-day meeting — known as […]

Taliban say they’re meeting US officials again on Monday

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban say they are holding “another” meeting on Monday with U.S. officials, this time in the United Arab Emirates and also involving Saudi, Pakistani and Emirati representatives in the latest attempt to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year war. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid offered no further details. Khalil Minawi, director […]

Rights groups warn against US flouting international court

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Afghan rights workers warned Tuesday that the U.S. national security adviser’s blistering attack on the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes allegations will strengthen a climate of impunity in Afghanistan, prolong the war and embolden those carrying out acts of violence. In a speech Monday, John Bolton said Washington would not cooperate […]

Taliban: Founder of Haqqani network dies inside Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban say the Afghan Haqqani network founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, an ex- U.S. ally turned fierce enemy, has died after years of ill health. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that Haqqani died on Monday inside Afghanistan. The elderly founder of Afghanistan’s outlawed Haqqani network […]