Afghanistan

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Taliban Break Off Negotiations On U.S. Soldier Held Since 2009

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been held by the Taliban since his capture nearly five years ago. He is thought to be somewhere in Pakistan.
NPR

Marine Commandant Launches Offensive Against Bad Behavior

After 12 plus years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the commandant of the Marine Corps is taking stock of where the Marine Corps is headed as an institution. Gen. James Amos is examining issues from discipline and sexual assault, to how to keep Marines who signed up to fight engaged. During a recent visit to Los Angeles, Gen. Amos sat down with Renee Montagne to talk about his efforts.
NPR

Afghan Prisoner Release Promises To Inflame Tensions

Strained relations between Afghanistan and the U.S. and NATO may only get worse this week. The Afghan government is releasing 65 prisoners, many of whom have been accused by the West of plotting and participating in terrorist activities. Robert Siegel speaks with Nathan Hodge of The Wall Street Journal to learn more about the rationale behind this release and what it might mean for Afghan security and diplomacy.
NPR

Afghans Release 65 Prisoners The U.S. Deems Dangerous

The men were released over the strong objections of U.S. military commanders, who say the 65 include some who have attacked soldiers and civilians. But Afghan President Hamid Karzai says there isn't enough evidence to justify holding the prisoners.
NPR

Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President?

Eleven candidates are trying to replace Hamid Karzai in the April 5 election. Ten are Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group. Candidates are already holding rallies, debating and wooing the support of tribal leaders. Here's a rundown of the top contenders.
NPR

Local Economy Suffers After Afghan Housing Bubble Bursts

The housing bubble in Afghanistan was created by the influx of international organizations and their thousands of workers over the last 12 years. As countries pull out of Afghanistan, rent prices are tumbling, vacancies are soaring and sales have flatlined.
NPR

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
NPR

UN: Civilian Casualities Rise In Afghanistan

The United Nations has just released a grim report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan over the last year. Casualties rose 14 percent in 2013, with nearly 3,000 people killed and more than 5,500 injured.
NPR

'Secret Contacts' Reported Between Afghan President, Taliban

President Hamid Karzai has balked at signing a security agreement with the U.S. According to The New York Times, representatives of the Taliban and Karzai have been in contact about a peace deal. It's thought Karzai may not want to sign the deal with the U.S. while he's talking to the Taliban.
NPR

An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths

One of the most dramatic changes in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban is the increase in life expectancy from 45 to 62 years. That gain is almost entirely a function of reductions in child mortality due to the spread of basic health services.

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