President Obama said the Afghanistan war drawdown would be done from a position of strength, citing success in killing Al Qaeda leaders. But a similar campaign to weaken the Taliban has not been equally successful.
Children’s advocates, aid workers, and human rights campaigners challenged the statement from NATO's civilian representative Mark Sedwill, saying it was blind to ground realities.
Parliamentary candidates in the Afghanistan election to be held Saturday say the only way to campaign safely is by telephone.
The International Assistance Mission, a Christian organization whose team of 10 aid workers were ambushed by the Taliban on Friday, said the killings would not chase it from the country.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the ambush of a medical mission that killed six Americans, one Briton, one German, and two Afghans. The attack highlights the difficulty of limiting the reach of insurgent activity in the Afghanistan war.
US forces are pushing deeper into Helmand Province, where Americans promoted development throughout much of the cold-war era.