Afghanistan war

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Pope Inadvertently Uses Putin's Words to Chide West

He was talking about Afghanistan

(Newser) - Pope Francis has criticized the West's two-decade-long involvement in Afghanistan as an outsider's attempt to impose democracy—although he did it by citing Russia's Vladimir Putin while thinking he was quoting Germany's Angela Merkel. Asked during a radio interview aired Wednesday about the new political map...

Biden: 'I Was Not Going to Extend a Forever Exit'

He calls airlift an 'extraordinary success'

(Newser) - Addressing the nation, a defensive President Biden on Tuesday called the US military airlift to extract more than 120,000 Afghans, Americans, and other allies to end a 20-year war an "extraordinary success," though more than 100 Americans and thousands of Afghans looking to leave remain in the...

In the Afghan Aftermath, a Big 'What If' Is Raised

Peggy Noonan calls failure to get bin Laden at Tora Bora a 'richly consequential screw-up'

(Newser) - Among the post-mortems being written about the Afghanistan war is one from Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal , who laments how the war could have ended successfully soon after it began. In December 2001, US and Afghan forces had Osama bin Laden pinned down in the mountainous Tora Bora...

Departure of Last US Planes Ends 20-Year War

Pentagon, Taliban say last planes left just before midnight Kabul time

(Newser) - Taliban guards at Kabul's airport and officials at the Pentagon have confirmed that the last US planes have flown out. Celebratory gunfire erupted across the Afghan capital marking the symbolic end of 20 years of war, with the Taliban back in power, the AP reports. In Washington, the US...

98 Countries Announce Travel Agreement With Taliban
98 Countries Reach
Deal With Taliban

98 Countries Reach Deal With Taliban

Agreement will allow at-risk Afghans to leave country after deadline, joint statement says

(Newser) - The US and 97 other countries, from Albania to Zambia, have announced a deal with the Taliban that will allow people, including their citizens and at-risk Afghans, to depart Afghanistan after the American military withdraws. "We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear...

Evacuations Resume Day After Kabul Bombings
US Gave Taliban Names
of People to Evacuate

US Gave Taliban Names of People to Evacuate

Flights from Kabul airport resume as death toll from Thursday attacks rises

(Newser) - Heavily armed Taliban fighters were on patrol outside Kabul's airport Friday as evacuation flights resumed a day after Thursday's horrific scenes. The death toll from Thursday's twin suicide bombings has now risen to more than 100, including 13 US troops, the AP reports. Officials say at least...

Biden Tells Attackers: 'We Will Hunt You Down'

President suggests he might send more troops to Afghanistan

(Newser) - In addressing the nation on Thursday, President Biden expressed his resolve to not let the airport attack in Afghanistan stop evacuations even as US troops track down and punish the forces responsible. "To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this:...

'Imminent Attack' Feared at Kabul Airport

Massive airlift is entering final phase

(Newser) - European nations offered stark warnings Thursday about the waning days of a massive airlift to bring people out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with a British official saying an "imminent attack" could target Kabul's international airport. As President Biden says he'll stick with his deadline of Aug. 31 to...

CIA Is Helping Extract Americans From Kabul

Blinken says 1.5K Americans are still in the country

(Newser) - There are still around 1,500 American citizens left in Afghanistan—not including the thousands of troops involved in the evacuation mission—and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says the US is doing all it can to get them out. Blinken said Wednesday that diplomats are in direct contact with...

Biden: We're Sticking to Aug. 31 Afghanistan Deadline

He warns of terror attacks if evacuation mission extends past withdrawal date

(Newser) - President Biden declared Tuesday he is sticking to his Aug. 31 deadline for completing a risky airlift of Americans, endangered Afghans and others seeking to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The decision defies allied leaders who want to give the evacuation more time and opens Biden to criticism that he caved to...

US Forces Go Beyond Kabul Airport to Save Citizens

With clock ticking, evacuation has been stepped up

(Newser) - US forces in Afghanistan are going beyond Kabul's airport to rescue stranded American citizens and allies, the Pentagon confirmed Monday. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said troops and helicopters have extracted around 350 Americans from the city and there could be similar missions in cases where people are "...

Homes in US Open to Refugees
Americans' Doors
Open to Refugees

Americans' Doors Open to Refugees

Groups ask for more volunteers to prepare for arrivals from Afghanistan

(Newser) - As refugees from Afghanistan begin arriving in the US, Americans are offering to take them in. Jacqueline Buzas of Refugee Services of Texas said the organization has never seen a response like this, the Washington Post reports. "We have people calling to say, 'I have an extra bedroom....

Biden's Message: 'We Will Get You Home'

President addresses Americans still stuck in Afghanistan, along with Afghan allies

(Newser) - As critics slammed his administration for not starting evacuations sooner , President Biden told Americans in Afghanistan on Friday that "we will get you home.” Tens of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies are still waiting to leave the country as the Aug. 31 deadline looms, the AP reports....

Frustration Builds for Family of Taliban Captive

Pressure on Trump, Biden administrations for help hasn't won release of Mark Frerichs, 59

(Newser) - Charlene Cakora has been trying for more than a year, during two presidential administrations, to win US help for rescuing her brother from the Taliban. A Navy veteran, Mark Frerichs, 59, had worked as a civil engineer for 10 years in Kabul when he was kidnapped , the BBC reports. Cakora...

Blinken's Own Staffers Warned Him of Quick Afghan Collapse

State Department chief received internal document on July 13

(Newser) - The White House says nobody anticipated that Afghanistan would fall so quickly. But the Wall Street Journal is out with a scoop about an internal State Department cable dated July 13 that warned things were about to get very bad in a hurry:
  • Warning: The cable, signed by 23 staffers,

Members of Girls' Robotics Team Escape Afghanistan

Those remaining are terrified about the future, human rights lawyer says

(Newser) - In 2017, an all-girls robotics team nicknamed the Afghan Dreamers made headlines after their visas to attend a competition in the US were rejected , then granted after lobbying from then-President Trump. Now, they are trying to escape a nightmare. Some members of the team, based in the western city of...

Biden: There Was No Way to Avoid Chaos in Afghanistan

He doesn't think there was a failure in 'intelligence, planning, execution, or judgment'

(Newser) - President Biden insisted Wednesday that chaos in Afghanistan as US troops pulled out was unavoidable—and he bristled when asked about distressing scenes at Kabul's airport. When asked by ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos if he thought the "exit could have been handled better in any way," Biden...

Senate to Investigate What Led to 'Worst-Case Scenario'

'Highest-level' Biden officials will speak at congressional hearings, Pelosi says

(Newser) - Democratic lawmakers have largely avoided directly criticizing President Biden's administration over events in Afghanistan—but they still have a lot of questions about how the Taliban were able to seize control with stunning speed, leading to a chaotic evacuation from Kabul's airport. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner...

Up to 15K Americans Are Still in Afghanistan, and It's a Big Mess

It's not clear what will happen to those outside Kabul

(Newser) - Americans are being evacuated from Afghanistan amid the Taliban's takeover of the country, but as many as 15,000 still remain there, according to administration sources who spoke to NBC News and the Washington Post . About 1,100 had been evacuated as of Tuesday night, but "now that...

US Officials Fooled Themselves Into This Mess Over 20 Years

Daniel Silverberg and Fred Kaplan see a mission that was misguided and unsuccessful all along

(Newser) - Afghanistan was never America's to lose. The US and its Afghan allies did not, at any point, control the country, Daniel Silverberg writes in the Atlantic . Instead, officials in Washington deluded themselves and each other for two decades, until President Biden was left with nothing but bad choices . A...

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