Jul 29, 2019

2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan, bringing 2019 total to 14

Soldiers are seen in the Achin district in Afghanistan in 2017. Photo: Zabihullah Ghazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Two U.S. service members stationed in Afghanistan were killed in action on Monday, NATO Resolute Support said in a statement. The identities of the service members will be withheld for 24 hours until the next of kin is identified.

Why it matters: The war in Afghanistan is America's longest by far, with the number of service members killed in 2019 — 17 years after Operation Enduring Freedom began — now totaling 14. Most Americans view the war as a failure. The announcement comes on the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Trump has directed him to reduce the number of troops stationed in Afghanistan by the 2020 election, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: U.S. pushes toward “face-saving way out" of Afghanistan

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2 U.S. service members die in Afghanistan, bringing 2019 total to 16

2 U.S. service members stationed in Afghanistan were killed Wednesday, per NATO Resolute Support. The names of the service members will be withheld for 24 hours until the next of kin is notified.

Why it matters: The Afghanistan war is America's longest, with 17 years having passed since Operation Enduring Freedom began. The number of service members killed in 2019 now totals 16.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Islamic State presence grows in Afghanistan as U.S. mulls withdrawal

Afghan security officials inspect the scene after an overnight suicide bomb blast that targeted a wedding reception in Kabul. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The official government line in Afghanistan is that the Islamic State has been defeated — but local leaders tell a different story, the Washington Post reports.

The state of play: Talks between the U.S. and the Taliban on removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan have been ongoing for months, while the Islamic State's growing threat has not been addressed.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Lindsey Graham tries to talk Trump out of Afghanistan pullout by 2020

President Trump introduces Sen. Lindsey Graham during a rally at the Tupelo Regional Airport. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told me yesterday that he’d advised President Trump it would be a huge mistake, substantively and politically, to withdraw all U.S. military members from Afghanistan by the 2020 election.

What he's saying: "When it comes to the election of 2020. I think it would be very easy for the president to defend leaving a counterterrorism force that was recommended by our military and intelligence community, to protect the homeland after the debacle in Iraq."

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019