Nov 20, 2019

2 U.S. troops dead in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military announced.

The big picture: The deaths bring the number of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan this year to 19, making it the deadliest year for American military personnel in that country since the end of combat missions in 2014, Military.com reports. About 2,400 have died in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.

Go deeper: Pentagon chief travels to Afghanistan to assess state of peace process

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WaPo: American people misled for two decades over Afghanistan failures

The report covers failures across the Bush (L) and Obama administrations. Photo: Brendan SmialowskiI/AFP via Getty Images

Three U.S. administrations have, over 18 years, told the public the U.S. was making steady progress in Afghanistan despite knowing the war effort was failing.

Driving the news: The facts are laid bare in new reporting from Washington Post, based on 2,000 pages of interviews conducted by a government oversight agency to determine what went wrong in Afghanistan. The Post gained access to the documents after a three-year legal battle.

House committee to hold hearing on Afghanistan war findings

Eliot Engel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel announced Tuesday plans for a hearing with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in response to an incriminating report that three U.S. administrations misled the public in regard to the Afghanistan war.

“I fully expect the State Department and other agencies to cooperate in the committee’s endeavor to provide transparency and accountability to the American people on the impact of 18 years of war and more than $2 trillion spent.”
— Rep. Eliot Engel, in a statement on Tuesday
Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Taliban releases 2 Westerners in prisoner swap

American University campus in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

The Taliban on Tuesday released an Australian and American they held for three years, as part of an exchange for three senior insurgent leaders, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The release of American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks comes two months after peace talks between the Taliban and U.S. failed. The officials who brokered the deal hope it will restart the talks, per the Times. The Taliban has said "they will stand by the terms negotiated" with American peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, the Times writes.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019