Entries in U.S. Forces Afghanistan (3)


Mullen: Afghan Mission Won't Be Hurt by Obama Troop Withdrawal

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) LikeViews: 16 ABC News Radio photos Aug 1, 2011 5:41 AM Add a comment ... Subscribe (KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen says the U.S. mission in Afghanistan won't be jeopardized by President Obama's order to withdraw 33,000 "surge" troops within the next 12 months.

In a surprise visit to Kabul Sunday, Adm. Mullen expressed confidence that the Pentagon "can meet both the needs on the ground as well as the deadlines and the goals that have been laid out by the president."

Obama had ordered an additional 33,000 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan at the start of January 2010, but with the administration anxious to begin transferring security responsibilities to the Afghan army and police, the president approved the gradual drawdown of forces to be completed by the end of next summer.

There have been no specific deadlines for withdrawal finalized, according to Mullen. However, the admiral said he expected American ground commanders to provide him with their recommendations by no later than October.

As for the Taliban's recent activity, which has included the assassinations of high-profile figures including Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Mullen insisted that the attacks were desperation moves by an enemy that can no longer stage major offensives due to huge losses of fighters in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


1,400 Marines to Afghanistan Ahead of Spring Surge

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) – An additional 1,400 Marine combat forces will head to Afghanistan as part of a campaign to increase security in the country ahead of mandated troop reductions in July.

The Marines, which could arrive in Kandahar as soon as mid-January, will be part of as many as 3,000 additional troops in the temporary boost by Defense Secretary Robert Gates who was given the authority to deploy the additional troops as needed.

Centcom has announced that the Marines are part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and currently serve aboard the USS Kearsarge. The unit will be used to increase security and make a final push to finish essential infrastructure.

The surge is being made ahead of an expected spring increase in Taliban activity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Soldier in Custody After Detainee Death

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A U.S. soldier is in custody after the shooting death Sunday of a Taliban insurgent in a holding cell at a jail in the Kandahar area.  The U.S. has launched a full investigation in the matter.

"The U.S. takes very seriously any mistreatment of detainees," said Rear Admiral Greg Smith, U.S. Forces Afghanistan Director of Communication.  "Our forces are trained to uphold the rights of persons in custody and any violation of those rights are fully investigated."

The detainee, who was captured by a partnered Afghan Coalition force during an operation in Arghandab district, was known to be a senior leader of the Taliban network in Arghandab.

U.S. Forces Afghanistan says it plans to keep the Afghan government informed throughout the investigation.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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