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?
But in many ways, the harder part is still ahead. In the 'clear-hold-build' counterinsurgency strategy under Obama and his top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the 'hold' phase - sustaining security - is much more difficult.
In a dramatic turnaround from this past summer, Afghan forces in the new Marjah offensive outnumber international forces 3 to 2. Efforts to 'Afghanize' the face of the war against the Taliban are seen as key.
US forces are poised to move into the southern Afghanistan town of Marjah, and have warned civilians to leave the area. But only a few hundred Afghan families have responded.
The US offensive against the town of Marjah illustrates the link between the Taliban insurgency and the narcotics trade. The Taliban promote and tax the opium business and are allies with the drug lords who organize the distribution and export.
After weeks of publicizing, US troops are set to launch one of the biggest offensives of the Afghanistan war, against the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Helmand Province. Here’s a briefing on just how important this town is and why NATO gave the Taliban so much advance warning.
As part of Obama's Afghanistan war surge, some 9,000 marines are moving into small Afghan towns near the border to stop Taliban soldiers and supplies coming from Pakistan. The view from this new front.
US forces are pushing deeper into Helmand Province, where Americans promoted development throughout much of the cold-war era.
In Helmand Province, poppy cultivation funds insurgent activities. As the operation began, the US military announced a US soldier had been captured in another province.