At a press conference in Hanoi on May 23, President Obama announced that he would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, which he called “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.” He also confirmed that, two days earlier, a missile launched from a U.S. Special Operations Forces drone had killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur in a taxi about a hundred miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. (The strike also killed the driver, Muhammad Azam, whose family the U.S.
Iran is working with the Taliban to set up a buffer zone along its border with Afghanistan to keep out the Islamic State, the latest sign of how the rise of the Syrian-based terror group is turning longtime rivals into uneasy allies.
In 1996, the Taliban movement, a majority of who were religious students from Deobandi madrasas (religious schools) in Pakistan and rural Afghanistan, established a short-lived Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. On arrival in Kabul, the Taliban barred women from working at public or private institutions and banned girls from schools. The Taliban regime said that the ban was because of a lack of facilities and security.
On Saturday May 22, a U.S. drone strike killed Mullah Mansour, the leader of the Taliban and architect of the group’s bloody reconquest of Afghanistan this past year. Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the killing, and Hari Sreenivasan talks to former Pakistani diplomat Riaz Mohammad Khan and former State Department official Barnett Rubin about what lies ahead for the Taliban.
As the Taliban collected the body of its slain leader on Monday, the insurgent group also began discussing his replacement, insiders say — a choice that could spark furious infighting and signal whether there's any chance of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.
Two senior members of the Afghan Taliban told NBC News that they'd received the burned remains of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who was killed Saturday in a U.S. airstrike in southwest Pakistan — the first time since the beginning of the Afghan war that the United States had directly targeted a Taliban leader.
Dr. Barnett Rubin published "Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror" in hard cover in April 2013, and a paper back version was published through Oxford University Press in May 2015. Amazon writes that Rubin distills his unmatched knowledge of Afghanistan in this invaluable book. He shows how the Taliban arose in resistance to warlords some of whom who were raping and plundering with impunity in the vacuum of authority left by the collapse of the Afghan state after the Soviet withdrawal.
The United States should work with the Afghan government to help young Afghans build a future for themselves in their country. But America's responsibility to them — after 14 years of failing to bring peace and security to Afghanistan — goes beyond that.
While the U.S. was operating in Afghanistan, it created a parallel public service sector to the Afghan government that was larger and better paid. The U.S. and NATO military and aid programs employed thousands of young Afghans, newly educated in schools the West paid for.