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Afghanistan

The Takeaway

Suicide Bomber Attacks Shiite Shrine in Kabul

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Suicide bombers killed at least 58 people and wounded over 100 at a shrine in Kabul on Tuesday, the holy Shiite day of Ashura. Two other attacks were carried out, killing four at a mosque in Mazar-i-Shari, and the other in Kandahar, where no one was killed. The attacks, coming on the most important day of the year for Shiite Muslims, was the incident of first sectarian violence in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Rod Nordland, reporter for The New York Times, has the latest from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Meeting in Bonn, Germany on the Future of Afghanistan

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Almost 1,000 delegates from Afghanistan, NATO, and neighboring countries met in Bonn, Germany to discuss the future of Afghanistan. The talks happened in the context of the planned withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan by 2014. The meeting had a sense of deja vu; 10 years ago, in this same city, in the same hotel, Afghan leaders met to discuss the future of Afghanistan. Back then, it was just months after the 9/11 attacks, the American-led invasion of Afghanistan, and the fall of the Taliban. 

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The Takeaway

Dim Hopes for Afghanistan at Bonn Meeting

Monday, December 05, 2011

A crucial international conference on Afghanistan’s future began Monday in Bonn, Germany. Delegates from 100 nations are attempting to chart a long term course for the war-torn country, after international troops leave in 2014. But neighboring Pakistan, crucial to Afghanistan’s security, is boycotting the conference, following a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Russian Elections, Morning Headlines

Monday, December 05, 2011

Early results show that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party, United Russia, is on track to lose its two-thirds majority in the parliament's lower house.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Bonn II Conference on Afghanistan's Future, Morning Headlines

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ten years after the first conference in Bonn, Germany on nation-building in Afghanistan, representatives from 100 countries came together Monday to chart a course for Afghanistan after NATO forces pull out in 2014. However, there were no delegates from Pakistan or the Taliban.

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WNYC News

U.S. Easing Out Of Nation-Building Business

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The difficulty and expense associated with nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the notion of nation-building unpopular with Democrats and Republicans alike. But throughout U.S. history, the idea has always staged a comeback.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Latest Updates on Occupy Wall Street Eviction

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

After getting a court order to return, police have told Occupy Wall Street protesters can return to Zuccotti Park, but cannot bring tents, tarps, or sleeping bags.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Attacks in Afghanistan, Morning Headlines

Monday, October 31, 2011

Over the weekend two attacks in Afghanistan proved some of the deadliest in that country in over two months. In Kabul, a bombing left 17 people dead, and some officials pointing beyond the Taliban and towards a growing threat: the Haqqani network, which is based in neighboring Pakistan. That and this morning's other top headlines. 

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The Takeaway

US-Pakistan Relations Further Complicated After Afghanistan Attacks

Monday, October 31, 2011

Two attacks over the weekend in Afghanistan drew into even sharper relief the challenges of relations between Pakistan and the U.S. One reason: officials pointed to the first attack, in which a suicide bombing of an armored convoy killed 17 people, as a likely calling card not of the Taliban but the Haqqani terrorist network. The Haqqani network is based largely in Pakistan, and the U.S. has accused that country of supporting them. Now, American officials are in the difficult position of asking Pakistan for help in peace negotiations with the Haqqanis.   

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The Takeaway

Pakistan Accused of Secretly Supporting Taliban

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The increasingly fraught relationship between the United States and Pakistan is under even greater scrutiny after new revelations showing Pakistan has continually supported and trained the Taliban in Afghanistan for the last decade. A BBC investigation alleges that Pakistan has secretly armed and trained the enemy in Afghanistan while professing to be a U.S. ally. David Loyn, correspondent for the BBC, filed this report.

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WNYC News

President Obama: All Troops Out Of Iraq By Dec. 31

Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama has always been opposed to the war in Iraq, and is fulfilling a campaign promise to bring the American involvement to an end. He says troop levels in Afghanistan will also be coming down.

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The Takeaway

UK Loses £3.2 Million to Fraud in Kabul

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The BBC has learned that the British government paid £3.2 million AGEF, an aid agency which has shuttered over allegations of fraud. AGEF's mission was to help resettle failed asylum-seekers sent back to Kabul and to train local people. The British government was aware of problems since 2009, according to the BBC, but continued to pay AGEF until this year. Angus Crawford, correspondent for the BBC, filed this report.

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The Takeaway

UN Reports Abuse at Afghan Prisons

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Detainees in prisons run by the Afghanistan National Police and the country's intelligence service are routinely abused and subjected to what a new report from the United Nations refers to as "systematic torture." The report details repeated beatings, electric shocks, the use of stress positions and the threat of sexual assault. It is unknown whether American officials were aware of or complicit in the abuse.

And here to explain what the implications these revelations are going to have on U.S.-Afghan relations is 

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The Takeaway

Special Forces Major: Afghanistan Can Still Be Won

Friday, October 07, 2011

Todaymarks ten years since the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan began — a milestone many people may not have imagined the U.S. would reach. For soldiers, the anniversary is cause for reflection. Special Forces Major Fernando M. Luján made his reflections public last week, in an op-ed in The New York Times called "This War Can Still Be Won." Luján, who was stationed in Afghanistan for 14 months, and is now a member of the Afghan Hands program, says "the Afghans have the will to win, with or without us."

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The Takeaway

US Invasion of Afghanistan: 10 Years Later

Friday, October 07, 2011

Today marks ten years since U.S. invaded Afghanistan. In many ways, it's a quiet landmark; the White House has no public events planned to mark the occasion. The United States and NATO plan to leave the country by 2014, saving lives and billions of dollars for America. But, as retired Army General Stanley McChrystal said in remarks on Thursday night, many are worried that it will not have established a fully-functioning and secure government and military by the draw-down date. The U.S. and NATO remain "far from reaching their goals," McChrystal said.

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The Takeaway

10 Years and Billions of Dollars Later, Vets Say Afghanistan Not Worth the Cost

Thursday, October 06, 2011

On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a poll indicating that only a third of American servicemen and women believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been worth the costs. All of these complicated factors weigh on American efforts to withdraw troops from the country. The findings came only two days before the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is now the recipient of the largest amounts of aid in the world, accruing $33 billion over the past decade. But the country is still struggling, facing an unprecedented drought and appealing for food aid for the nearly ten million people who are suffering because of it.

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The Takeaway

Haqqani Leader Denies Killing Rabbani

Monday, October 03, 2011

Siraj Haqqani, a key leader of the Afghan militant group known as the Haqqani network, told the BBC over the weekend it was not responsible for the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council. The Haqqanis, who in recent weeks have been blamed for an attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul, have been described as "the Sopranos of the Afghanistan war" by The New York Times. The U.S. has long accused the Haqqanis of working for Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI.

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The Takeaway

The Haqqani Network's Influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jalaluddin Haqqani has called his militant outfit the most deadly insurgent group in Afghanistan, and a recent New York Times article called the Haqqani network a "ruthless crime family." Many top American officials are convinced that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence has been working with the militant outfit. Their latest attacks include a strike on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Burhanuddin Rabbani Buried in Kabul

Friday, September 23, 2011

Burhanuddin Rabbani was buried in Kabul on Friday after being assassinated by a suicide bomber on Tuesday. Rabbani was the chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, and his death is thought as major setback to the Afghan government. David Loyn, correspondent for the BBC, and author of "In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian, and American Occupation" reports from the funeral.

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The Takeaway

Burhanuddin Rabbani, Leader of Afghan Peace Council, Assassinated

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, former president of Afghanistan and leader of the High Peace Council. Rabbani was in the process of negotiating an end to the war with the Taliban. The assassination is a devastating blow to the Afghan peace process, and the future of security in the region.

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