In Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Robert Gates says the president was unsure the Afghan surge would work and was openly distrustful of military leaders. "I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission," he writes. The book is scheduled for release Jan. 14.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has commissioned a series of polls to see who Afghans favor in the April election. But between security challenges and "social desirability" biases, it can be difficult to impossible to get a clear read of the Afghan people.
After decades of war in Afghanistan, the country has thousands of orphans. One home for these children ended up with an improbable benefactor — an Iranian-American who came to Kabul to do rule of law development work, and stumbled into a side project working with disabled orphans.
The Afghans will elect a new president, and the U.S. combat mission will end. There are worries about a resurgent Taliban, the fragile economy and the future of women's rights. In short, Afghans are concerned about most everything.
A look back and a look ahead as NATO prepares for the final year of its mission in Afghanistan. This year saw several major events as Afghan forces took responsibility for security and the U.S. and Afghanistan came close, but have so far failed to ink a security deal to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends next year.
For the 13th year in a row, U.S. troops are spending Christmas in Afghanistan. For the 7,500 of them based in the eastern part of the country, Major Gen. James McConville is providing the closest thing to a visit from Santa.
It isn't yet known what caused the aircraft, said to be a helicopter, to come down. But Reuters reports that initial reports do not indicate that it came under attack. Regardless, it is the deadliest incident involving foreign troops in months.
Kimberly Motley is an American lawyer working in Afghanistan trying to make changes in the country's legal system. She initially moved there in 2008, when she took a job with the State Department to train Afghan lawyers. What she saw there shocked her.
The secretary of defense is trying to shore up alliances in both regions. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Larry Abramson about Chuck Hagel's trip to visit troops in Afghanistan and his next stops in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
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