Tag: Afghanistan War (2001- )

Taliban Blast Kills at Least 20 in Latest Spasm of Violence in Afghanistan

A Taliban truck bomb killed at least 20 people and injured 95 others when it exploded near a hospital in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, a provincial official said, with casualties expected to rise as rescuers searched the rubble from the blast. The Taliban, who have been carrying out nearly daily attacks since the collapse of […]

Read More

Trump Must Restart the Taliban Talks

KABUL — President Trump calling off the talks with Taliban insurgents on Sept. 7 has, at least for now, quashed hopes of imminent agreement between the United States and the Taliban. The two sides had appeared to be on the brink of a deal that might have paved the way for talks among the insurgents, […]

Read More

‘Waiting for All of It to End’: A Marine’s Battlefield View of U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan

Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, served four years in the Marines and first deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, then again in 2009 at the beginning of the troop increase ordered by President Barack Obama. I don’t think there was ever a time when we thought we were winning or losing. […]

Read More

For Afghans Scarred by War, ‘Peace Can’t Bring My Love Back’

KABUL, Afghanistan — After nearly two decades of bloody fighting, the United States and the Taliban were on the verge of a provisional agreement that could help end the long war — then President Trump pulled the plug on negotiations. Many Afghans, who express an urgent need for ending the bloodshed, have remained skeptical of […]

Read More

Democrats’ Afghan Strategy Sounds Familiar. It’s a Lot Like Trump’s.

For 18 years and four presidential elections, Democrats running for president have felt compelled to lay out comprehensive plans for the future of Afghanistan, vowing to never again let the country become a breeding ground for terrorists who could strike the United States as they did on Sept. 11, 2001. Now, the candidates are racing […]

Read More

The Only Way to End ‘Endless War’

“We have got to put an end to endless war,” declared Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Thursday. It was a surefire applause line: Many people consider “endless war” to be the central problem for American foreign policy. Even President Trump, the target of Mr. Buttigieg’s attack, […]

Read More

Stargazing in a War Zone: Veterans on Natural Beauty in Dangerous Places

When my ship pulled into port in Sydney, Australia, on my second deployment, I found a bookstore and bought a star-chart and a guidebook to the Southern Hemisphere. I thought of my high school teacher Mike Pakenham, who told us in an elective astronomy course that we should all witness the beauty of the Southern […]

Read More

Bolton Ouster Underscores a G.O.P. Divided on Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s abrupt ouster of John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, has reignited concerns among some Republicans in Congress about the White House’s waning interest in projecting American military power around the world, a doctrine that was once the subject of a powerful consensus in their party. It is the latest sign […]

Read More

What John Bolton’s Ouster Says About Donald Trump

Of the questions surrounding the defenestration of John Bolton as President Trump’s third national security adviser — Did he jump? Was he shoved? — the least interesting is the question of who will succeed him on the parapet. It’s unlikely to matter much. Regardless of who has advised Mr. Trump on foreign affairs — generals […]

Read More

In Trump’s Taliban Snub, a Shift of Fortune for Afghanistan’s President

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, appeared increasingly trapped in recent months in a demoralizing swim against the political tides — until President Trump, inadvertently, tossed him a lifeline. Mr. Ghani, in pursuit of a second five-year term, had pushed for presidential elections later this month. But the only game in town that seemed […]

Read More

Elizabeth Warren Continues to Persist

Bret Stephens: Hi, Gail. Did you read our friend Frank Bruni’s column this past weekend? It’s one of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve read in a while about the likely shape of the 2020 race, and it contains this fascinating nugget: “19 Republicans in Congress have already announced that they won’t seek another term in […]

Read More

U.S. Soldier Whose Death in Afghanistan Upended Peace Talks ‘Loved His Country’

Sgt. First Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz navigated the crowded streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday morning unaware that the United States was on the verge of a precarious peace deal with the Taliban that might end the longest war in American history — just as he was unaware that a suicide bomber hidden in […]

Read More

Trump Declares Afghan Peace Talks With Taliban ‘Dead’

WASHINGTON — President Trump declared that peace talks with the Taliban were “dead, as far as I’m concerned,” saying he called off a meeting at Camp David after the militant group in Afghanistan killed 12 people, including one American soldier. Speaking to reporters on Monday as he left for a political rally in North Carolina, […]

Read More

Time to Pull U.S. Troops Out of Afghanistan?

To the Editor: Re “Trump Scraps Secret Talks With Taliban on Peace Pact” (front page, Sept. 8): If we leave Afghanistan prematurely, bad things will happen; if we stay, bad things will happen. A colonel who did eight tours in Afghanistan recently told me his reason for supporting our leaving Afghanistan now: “Too many of […]

Read More

Afghans Glad Trump Stopped Taliban Talks, Even if They Doubt His Explanation

KABUL, Afghanistan — After Abdul Sami was sent tumbling and knocked unconscious by a powerful Taliban car bombing last week, he had no idea that an American soldier was among the 12 people killed. On Monday, perched on a hospital bed, legs and abdomen wrapped in bandages, Mr. Sami shrugged when told that the attack […]

Read More

How Trump’s Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart

WASHINGTON — On the Friday before Labor Day, President Trump gathered top advisers in the Situation Room to consider what could be among the profound decisions of his presidency — a peace plan with the Taliban after 18 years of grinding, bloody war in Afghanistan. The meeting brought to a head a bristling conflict dividing […]

Read More

Taliban Failed to Live Up to ‘Commitments’ in Peace Talks, Pompeo Says

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that President Trump ended peace negotiations with the Taliban because the group had “failed to live up to a series of commitments they had made,” but he left open the possibility that American troops could be withdrawn from Afghanistan even in the absence of a deal. “The Taliban […]

Read More

Taliban Talks Hit a Wall Over Deeper Disagreements, Officials Say

KABUL, Afghanistan — Even as President Trump blamed a recent Taliban attack for his decision to call off nearly year-long negotiations with the insurgents, officials suggested on Sunday it had more to do with the Taliban’s resistance to the American terms for a peace deal. Talks that once seemed on the verge of a breakthrough […]

Read More

Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan and has called off negotiations with the Afghan insurgent group that were close to a peace agreement months in the making. “Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” Mr. Trump wrote in a […]

Read More

Afghans Push Back on U.S. Deal With Taliban, as Violence Intensifies

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government is pushing back against American diplomats on the eve of a troop withdrawal deal with the Taliban, concerned that the proposed agreement lacks assurances that the insurgents will honor their promises once American troops leave. Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy who has finalized “in principle” a deal with […]

Read More