Even before Osama bin Laden's killing, the Taliban were softening their image while the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan set the stage for talks. Now the US must decide if it's worth years of further military and diplomatic effort to hammer out an agreement.
A Kabul pilot with 20 years' experience in the Afghan military killed eight soldiers and one foreign contractor. It's the most recent in an new spate of such attacks.
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.
After years of deflecting US pressure to rein in the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan has arrested in rapid succession the group's No. 2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, two shadow provincial governors, and up to nine Al Qaeda-linked militants.
The decision to postpone Afghan elections until September violates the Constitution. But observers agree that extra time – even more than four months – is needed to erect safeguards against fraud.
President Hamid Karzai's top rival, Abdullah Abdullah, said a "transparent election is not possible." Will his supporters resort to violence?
A second round of voting in the Afghanistan election, set for Nov. 7, adds security and logistical difficulties to a process already marred by fraud.
President Hamid Karzai backed away from threats to reject an election runoff Monday in a move diplomats say breathes life into efforts to find a legitimate leader for Afghanistan.