The sweltering U.S. air base in Qatar was awash with loose feces and urine and a rat infestation.Aug 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy
The Taliban says that's a red line.Updated Aug 24, 2021 - World
The Taliban reopened Afghan secondary schools on Saturday for only boys, effectively banning teen girls from receiving a formal education, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: The move raises new fears that the Taliban will break public promises and impose severe restrictions on women's rights similar to those implemented in the 1990s.
The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized a six-month extension of the UN's political mission in Afghanistan.
Why it matters: The move will allow Secretary-General António Guterres to compile the necessary information to determine "strategic and operational recommendations" in light of the Taliban's takeover.
A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.
Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would award Congressional Gold Medals to 13 U.S. service members killed in last month's bombing at Kabul's international airport.
A handful of former Trump officials are making a concerted effort to amass opposition to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban, AP reports.
Why it matters: In media appearances, position papers and meetings with GOP lawmakers, they're crafting a narrative that hinges on the anti-immigrant sentiment that defined former President Trump's rise and overall discontent with the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered an unwavering defense of the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday, insisting it was "time to end America's longest war" and praising the evacuation from Kabul as "extraordinary."
Why it matters: Blinken, who is appearing Monday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Tuesday before Senate Foreign Relations, is the first senior Biden official to testify on Afghanistan in the wake of the chaotic withdrawal. Tempers flared in the first session, with House Republicans accusing Blinken of lying and demanding his resignation.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said Monday that terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq currently pose a greater threat to the U.S. homeland than those in Afghanistan.
Why it matters: The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has prompted new warnings from military and intelligence officials about the possibility that al-Qaeda will reconstitute.
Karen Olick, the chief of staff to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced Monday she is leaving her post to pursue new opportunities, Politico reports.
Why it matters: The announcement comes as DHS faces several challenges, including welcoming tens of thousands of Afghan refugees to the U.S., as well as the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.
A top United Nations official said Monday that the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan has entered a "new and perilous phase" and condemned the group for breaking public promises on human rights, AP reports.
What's happening: The comments, made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, come as the UN hosts a meeting with donors looking to raise funds for Afghans in need, with millions facing severe hunger following the Taliban's takeover.
Afghanistan's former central bank governor, Ajmal Ahmady, had a front-row seat to the country's recent economic development. So he knows as well as anyone the financial risks the new government — and the people of Afghanistan — now face.
Driving the news: In a talk with the Atlantic Council on Friday, Ahmady shared his inside perspective on the Afghan financial system and concerns for the future of the economy. Front and center: the lack of hard currency.