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Afghanistan
The US military in Afghanistan is increasingly trying to control public information about the war, resulting in strained relations with western organisations offering different versions of events to official military accounts, the Guardian has learned.  
 

Earlier this year, several former ISAF commanders and diplomats wrote President Barack Obama, imploring him to freeze troop levels in Afghanistan until the next administration takes office. 

 

Most of the high-ranking officials have violated the constitution. Yet they are free and holding important positions. They could not be apprehended and held accountable by the corrupt legal system. The rich get away with harassment, corruption, kidnapping and murder.  Some of the parliamentarians and most of the top officials are using every tool in their bureaucratic toolbox to use laws of the land for their own benefit and hit the poor with these if seen as barriers.

 

On Tuesday, the Taliban in a statement said that the leadership has directed the foot-soldiers and commanders on the ground to provide security to the developmental projects that would benefit the nation and the country. The statement has been received as a sign of changing Taliban’s face in the advanced geo-strategic game that has entered into new phase. The militant organization is trying to win sympathize of Afghan people, who suffered most at the hands of insurgents and terrorists.

 
Afghanistan’s anti-corruption court has held its inaugural public hearings in Kabul, the first steps on the long road to transparency in one of the most corrupt countries in the world — and expectations are immense.  
 

Fifteen years after the United States first scattered the Taliban with high-altitude bombing, the battlefield gains achieved by tens of thousands of U.S. troops are in jeopardy from a resurgent Taliban. The 15th anniversary of the start of the war passed last month almost without notice. The stark choices facing President-elect Donald Trump ? more troops? more money? withdrawal? ? received no attention in the presidential campaign, an ill omen for the months ahead when careful and considered action will be needed.

 
The courtroom was tense. The prosecutor’s team fiddled with their new equipment. The defendant, tall and imposing in the dock, fidgeted with his shirt cuffs. Then the lights were switched off and a video scene flashed on the wall.   
 
Shortly after the Trump administration takes office in January 2017, it will need to consider its strategy in Afghanistan, the country from which al-Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks and where U.S. and NATO-backed Afghan forces continue to battle the Taliban 15 years after the Islamist extremist group was ousted from power.  
 
Afghanistan is America's longest war, and since successfully completing the original mission, arguably its most pointless. After a decade and half, this conflict has taken more than 2,300 American lives, killed unknown tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, cost trillions in borrowed money that future generations will be forced to repay and left us only with a question about what we're now trying to accomplish.  
 
Proliferating blast walls and security checkpoints have transformed the Afghan capital, Kabul, into a maze of concrete. Driving is increasingly arduous. Cars and mopeds carrying explosives are a serious concern – so much so that many diplomats and international contractors now avoid the roads altogether.  
 


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