By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Afghanistan's cash-strapped government has levied nearly $1 billion in suspect taxes and fees on U.S.-funded reconstruction projects and military contractors over the past five years, often in violation of bilateral agreements with Washington, a new audit by a U.S. government watchdog found.
Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan and the situation next door in Afghanistan is not that much better, despite an improvement since the country was ruled by the Taliban, a U.S. government advisory commission said in a report released Tuesday.
Hospitals that Americans are building to serve local populations in Afghanistan may not be sustainable after U.S. troops leave the country in 2014, the chief U.S. watchdog for Afghan recontruction bluntly warns.
The U.S. military and the Afghan government reached a deal Wednesday on a gradual pullout of American special forces and their Afghan counterparts from a contentious eastern province, officials said.
Militants staged two deadly suicide attacks Saturday to mark the first full day of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's visit to Afghanistan, a fresh reminder that insurgents continue to fight and challenges remain as the U.S.-led NATO force hands over the country's security to the Afghans.
The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has found no evidence so far to support Afghan allegations of misconduct by American special forces in a strategic eastern province, the alliance's spokesman said on Monday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling for all U.S. special operations forces to stop all activity in Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan immediately and leave entirely in two weeks after reports that the troops are "harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people," according to an official statement.
The number of Afghan civilians killed and wounded in the last half of 2012 rose sharply compared with the similar period in 2011 as insurgents took advantage of warmer weather to carry out more attacks, the United Nations said Tuesday.
Gen. John Allen will not pursue the top U.S. military post in Europe after all. According to various media, the former U.S. commander in Afghanistan — who was picked to lead the U.S. forces in Europe and nominated last year — is going to retire.
U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford took over Sunday as the new and probably last commander of all U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan.
Taliban suicide bombers carried out a brazen attack in the Afghan capital Monday, the second in less than a week and a sign that insurgents are determined to keep fighting despite recent overtures of peace from the United States and the Afghan government.
The United States wants serious peace negotiations with the Taliban to begin, but it has not been possible to get the process under way, the American ambassador to Afghanistan said Thursday.
A day after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House, President Obama used his weekly radio address to highlight the progress made in the fight against terrorists there and make the case it is time for the U.S. involvement to end.
President Obama said Friday Afghan forces would take the lead for security in the country by this spring — slightly ahead of schedule — but gave no clear indication how many U.S. troops would remain in the country beyond next year, following a summit meeting at the White House with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
All U.S. troops could withdraw from Afghanistan next year if enough progress has been made against al Qaeda or if the Afghan government does not grant immunity to American forces after the end of their combat mission in 2014, the Obama administration says.