As the U.S. military steps up training of Afghan troops in preparation for the U.S. withdrawal in 2014, it has also ratcheted up its efforts to train U.S. soldiers in Afghan language and customs. This year, the Army has more than doubled the number of soldiers trained in Pashto and Dari.
The notorious prison at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul has been officially handed over to Afghan officials by U.S. military officials. But questions remain about whether some of its prisoners — including "high value" Taliban operatives — will remain under U.S. control. Afghan President Hamid Karzai had demanded control of the prison known as the Parwan detention facility before he signs a status of forces agreement with the United States.
The U.S. has decided to add one of the main Afghan insurgent groups to its terrorism list. The decision targets the Haqqani network, which has staged many attacks on Western interests in Afghanistan from its bases in northwestern Pakistan. The State Department announcement could also affect relations with Pakistan.
Navy Lt. Brad Snyder lost his sight to an explosion in Afghanistan exactly one year ago. On the anniversary Friday, he won the 400-meter freestyle at the Paralympics in London, capturing his second gold medal.
A top U.S. general in Afghanistan says all 350,000 Afghan troops will be vetted once more in an effort to verify their loyalties and their backgrounds. Already the Afghans have removed as many as 300 Afghan troops who did not measure up. This year there has been a spate of insider attacks on U.S. and NATO troops.
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