Afghanistan | KERA News

Afghanistan

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spent an unannounced visit to Afghanistan outlining elements of a peace strategy he says the Trump administration will commit to, on a conditional basis.

"It's not an unlimited commitment. He's also made it clear it's not a blank-check commitment," Tillerson told reporters who had landed with him at Bagram Air Force Base on Monday.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban after leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009, has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was freed in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees.

Bergdahl, a native of Idaho, pleaded guilty before the military judge in the case, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, at a hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Donald Trump addressed the nation on his strategy for the war in Afghanistan on Monday night from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump declared that a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan "would create a vacuum" and that America is "not nation-building again; we are killing terrorists."

From Texas Standard:

A controversial proposal to bring American troops home from Afghanistan, replacing them with contractors, wouldn’t involve private citizens manning tanks or Humvees. Instead, they would fly military-style planes above the battlefield – amounting to a private air force. The proposal comes from Erik Prince, whose contacting firm Blackwater made headlines during the Iraq War.

 

The U.S. has dropped the most powerful conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say.

The nearly 22,000-pound "MOAB" — standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it's also known, the "Mother of All Bombs" — was designed during the Iraq War but had never before been used on the battlefield.

The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter," in Afghanistan before.

Updated 3:15 a.m. ET

David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist who chronicled pain and beauty in war and conflict, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday along with NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna.

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET

The death toll continues to climb from the massive earthquake that rocked northeast Afghanistan near its border with Pakistan. More than 260 people are confirmed dead across the region with the majority of the reported casualties in Pakistan.

The epicenter of the magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck a remote area of Afghanistan but could be felt across the region as far north as Tajikistan and as far south as India.

Courtesy of Stephen Burgher

This story is the first in KERA's series on veterans, part of the public media initiative "Veterans Coming Home."

One of the first things Dr. Stephen Burgher had to get used to as an emergency physician in Afghanistan was treating blast injuries.

Rusty Baker / NAS Fort Worth JRB

Seven decades ago, on an Alaskan island, the 9th Naval Construction Regiment was commissioned to assist World War II efforts. Twenty-six years later, the unit was recommissioned as a reserve unit in Dallas, and eventually moved to Fort Worth. 

Nautilus

Years after covering conflict in Afghanistan, Anna Badkhen returned to the country in 2011, traveling through a roadless desert to a poor village called Oqa. Tonight, Badkhen speaks at The Wild Detectives bookstore in Oak Cliff. 

Fort Worth Memory Champion Honors Fallen Soldiers

Mar 1, 2013
Dallas Business Journal

For some, a withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan could not come soon enough. But in this commentary, Jim Falk, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, takes a different view.