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Jason Motlagh

Articles by Jason Motlagh

Taliban gains unsettle neighbors

Afghans are watching with a mixture of sympathy, satisfaction and fear as the Taliban that has menaced their country for years makes gains across the border in Pakistan. Published May 5, 2009

U.S. prepares Sri Lanka relief effort

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it is preparing a major relief effort for Sri Lanka amid expections that the nation's 26-year civil war will end within days - at a cost of tens of thousands of civilian lives. Published April 22, 2009

Eikenberry heads toward confirmation

Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Afghanistan, faced no apparent opposition at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday and is likely to assume the post at a critical juncture in the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign. Published March 27, 2009

Auditors warn of Afghan aid waste

Afghan reconstruction will require a disciplined, long-term U.S. aid commitment and the watchdog agency tasked by Congress to provide independent oversight needs greater resources to do its job, government auditors said Wednesday. Published March 26, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: $5 billion for Afghans still unspent

As the U.S. prepares to send more money and troops to Afghanistan, investigators are reviewing why $5 billion in previously appropriated aid has not been fully spent. Published March 25, 2009

Report: Afghanistan reconstruction lacks coordination

A failure to grasp long-term goals and poor coordination among the U.S. and coalition partners tasked with improving security have hamstrung the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, says a new report. Published February 17, 2009

'Kite Runner' star threatened

Zekeria Ebrahimi says getting cast as a lead in the film adaptation of the worldwide best-seller "The Kite Runner" changed his life, but not the way he expected. Published February 11, 2009

Kazakh suspect finds refuge in Austria

Kazakh authorities have renewed appeals for Austria to extradite the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to stand trial on charges of kidnapping two bankers who disappeared two years ago. Published February 6, 2009

Few comforts, much danger for outpost GIs

Entombed by steep faces of jagged rock, this coalition outpost deep in the Afghan borderlands plays a role as grim as it looks: drawing the attention of insurgents flocking from tribal areas in nearby Pakistan. Published January 15, 2009

Pakistan drives militants into trap

Pakistan's ongoing military offensive in its northwest tribal areas is chasing insurgents across the border, where they are being intercepted by a U.S.-Afghan security initiative, a U.S. commander says. Published January 2, 2009

Afghan police face death, battle for respect

OMANA, Afghanistan | It was dark, and most of the policemen were asleep when militants stormed the district center with a hail of bullets and rocket-propelled grenades. Published January 1, 2009

Coalition moves on Taliban before election

The Chinook helicopters surged toward a hot landing zone. Another pilot scouting ahead had sighted a band of suspected Taliban fighters in the area, and gunfire was expected. Published December 11, 2008

Report: Taliban's influence again spreading fast

Taliban militants now have a fixed presence in nearly three-quarters of Afghanistan, a sharp increase from last year, according to an international policy think tank. Published December 9, 2008

Political exiles fear Kazakh leader's wrath

On a late September afternoon, four Russian-speaking gunmen tried to kidnap Kazakhstan's former intelligence chief off a sidewalk in the heart of this normally low-crime capital. Published December 3, 2008

Afghans wary of Taliban, U.S.

With deadly frequency, the Taliban and affiliated militant groups are using the Jalrez Valley to launch attacks on Kabul and the national highway that is an economic lifeline to the south. Published December 1, 2008

Pakistani tribesmen become war refugees

A 3-month-old Pakistani army offensive to expel Taliban and al Qaeda fighters based in Bajaur zone has forced 200,000 Pakistani ethnic Pashtuns to flee their homes. Published November 23, 2008

Pakistan's anti-Taliban support risky

Pakistan's support of local militias to help fight Taliban and al Qaeda militants operating from its tribal areas is a sign of desperation that could backfire and lead to more attacks on U.S. and Pakistani forces or civil war in the borderlands, influential tribal elders, U.S. officials and analysts on the region say. Published November 10, 2008

Madrassas seek to shed terror label

Since Sept. 11, Pakistani madrassas have come to be viewed with deep suspicion in the West, with media reports feeding the perception they are incubators for extremism. Published November 9, 2008

Garbage sustains Afghan 'ragpickers'

Six-year-old Ali Reza Khan spots a half-eaten apple and steps toward it, darting when another boy makes his move. It's 7:30 a.m. at the city garbage dump, and the hunt is on. Published October 29, 2008