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Opium Poppy Growth Booming In Afghanistan

The U.S. has sent billions of dollars to Afghanistan for drug eradication, but to little effect. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, who testified on the hill Wednesday about the future of counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
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Kabul Suicide Attack Kills 21 At Downtown Restaurant

At least 21 people — most of them foreigners — died when the Taliban struck a restaurant popular with Westerners in downtown Kabul on Friday. Two of them were Americans. It appeared to be a well-coordinated attack.
NPR

Restaurant Owner Loved The Patrons He Died Trying To Protect

The owner of the Taverna du Liban, attacked by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan Friday night, treated each of his customers as a personal friend. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was a regular at the cozy Kabul restaurant, and remembers Kamal Hamade's friendship.
NPR

IMF, UN Staff Among 21 Killed In Kabul Restaurant Attack

A suicide attack at a Kabul restaurant popular with foreign nationals killed at least 21 people on Friday, including a senior official with the International Monetary Fund and four United Nations employees.
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Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks with NPR about why it's often better to advise and assist than to get involved militarily. And he looks at the Pentagon's looming budget crisis.
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Reports Of New Video Showing U.S. Soldier Held In Afghanistan

U.S. officials have reportedly received a new "proof-of-life" video of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the first to emerge in years.
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Mistrust And Miscommunication Stand In The Way Of Afghan Deal

The U.S. and Afghanistan are mired in an ongoing standoff over a proposed long-term security agreement. Analysts say that part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because of a trust and communications gap. Despite 12 years of fighting the Taliban together, the two countries still have trouble understanding each other's politics and interests. And that could result in the U.S. withdrawing all troops by the end of this year.
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Gates 'Immediately' Became Emotionally Attached To Troops

Steve Inskeep continues his conversation with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about his new memoir, Duty. Gates discusses his personal relationship with the armed forces and the intense emotional toll of being secretary of defense at a time when the nation is conducting two wars.
NPR

The Struggle Against A Newly Resurgent Al-Qaida

Sunni leaders in Iraq are trying to retake control of two important cities in Anbar province. That's raising fears in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida operatives still reside near the border with Pakistan. The Washington Post's David Ignatius talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the rise of al-Qaida-affiliated groups and America's relations with Afghanistan.
NPR

'Pious Spy' Article Casts Doubt On Taliban Chief's Death

Qari Ahmadullah was the Taliban's minister of intelligence. He held great power in Afghanistan, using mullahs to inform on the people. He was supposedly killed by the United States in an airstrike, but a piece in Harpers Magazine raises the question of whether he may still be alive. Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne talks to journalist Mujib Mashal, whose piece is called "The Pious Spy."

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