Twelve years after the war began, Afghanistan's president announced Tuesday that Afghan forces officially assumed control of security for the country. U.S. and NATO troops will remain until the 2014 deadline, but the Afghan military is now expected to fight without NATO support.
By this time next year, there will be roughly half as many U.S. troops in Afghanistan as there are today. And for U.S. strategy in the country to work, Afghan security forces will have to hold off the Taliban after the Americans leave. But it's unclear if the Afghans will all stand together.
Army Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime massacre. Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Martin Kaste, who listened to Sgt. Bales recount the killings at a military court hearing in Washington state. Bales has struck a deal with prosecutors that will spare him the death penalty.
Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will be in military court Wednesday. Bales is pleading guilty to murder charges in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. He is expected to give his account of the night-time killing of 16 Afghan civilians last year.
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