An Afghan private contractor in Kandahar, with close ties to Karzai's brother, is up for a contract to protect supply convoys for US troops in the Afghanistan war.
US officials say key military operations in the Kandahar offensive - scheduled for this summer - will be delayed until the fall. The Taliban have taken the Afghanistan war to the streets of the southern Afghan city with a campaign to assassinate key public officials.
Pakistani officials arrested half the Afghan Taliban leadership – 7 of 15 members of the Quetta Shura Taliban - including the Taliban commander in charge of stopping the US troop surge in southern Afghanistan. What is the Quetta Shura and why might these arrests be critical to the war in Afghanistan?
The Marjah offensive, say US and Afghan officials, is a trial run for a major push into the city of Kandahar this summer. It could be the pivotal battle of the Afghanistan war against the Taliban.