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Thursday, March 15, 2012

US Efforts In Afghanistan Hit Double Setback

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, meets with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, meets with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

U.S. efforts in Afghanistan today hit two major setbacks today.

First, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he wanted U.S. troops to be confined to bases and kept away from Afghan villages. He also wants the U.S. to completely end the practice of home searches, which the Pentagon has called crucial to fighting insurgents.

Then, the Taliban announced they were suspending negotiations with the U.S.

Taliban leaders said the U.S. “kept changing terms of negotiations” and had “turned back on its promises,” which included releasing some prisoners currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Both announcements come after a still unnamed U.S. soldier surrendered for allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree Sunday morning.

The soldier had been assisting a special operations team working on what is called “village stabilization,” an operation that has been at the center of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

The U.S. soldier has been flown to Kuwait, which led many Afghan lawmakers to object to signing a crucial agreement with the U.S. unless the soldier is tried in Afghanistan.


  • Craig Whitlock, Washington Post

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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