US collaborates with Taliban against ISIS: it’s official

At least 12 US service members were killed in a combined bomb attack and armed assault at a gate to the Kabul airport, where throngs fleeing the Taliban were desperately crowding. Up to 100 Afghan civilians were also killed, including children. US Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie told a press briefing at the Pentagon that the US is coordinating with the Taliban in the effort to maintain “security” in Kabul, saying: “They’ve been useful to work with.” It was also revealed that days earlier CIA director William J. Burns met face-to-face in Kabul with the top Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar. The “secret” meeting was reported in the Washington Post. (Photo via Future Center)

Ghor women

Afghan women take up arms against Taliban

As the US withdraws and the Taliban advance across large stretches of Afghanistan, women are taking up weapons in local militias to defend their villages. In Ghor province, ethnic Hazara women posed for social-media photos wielding rifles and rocket-launchers, pledging to resist by arms a return to “the dark era of Taliban.” With US and NATO forces evacuating Bagram Air Base, prelude to a full withdrawal by September, the Taliban are rapidly seizing territory. Since launching a spring offensive, the Taliban have doubled their area of control, and now hold nearly 100 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts. In retreat, the central government is calling upon civilians to form militias to fight back. (Photo via Twitter)


ICC to investigate US war crimes in Afghanistan

International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda made a formal request to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US the military in Afghanistan. The investigation would also examine crimes at secret CIA detention facilities in Poland, Romania and Lithuania. The request cites articles of the Rome Statute concerning murder, torture and unlawful imprisonment. It marks the first time ICC prosecutors have targeted the United States.


Germany: no compensation in Afghan air-strike

Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled that relatives of the victims of a 2009 air-strike in Afghanistan are not entitled to compensation under international law.


Bagram: US still holding detainees without charge

The Justice Project Pakistan released a report charging that prisoners of the US conitnue to be detained without charge at Bagram base despite the facility’s transfer to Afghan control.

Watching the Shadows

Harrowing Gitmo memoir published

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian detained at Guantánamo since August 2002, has had portions of his handwritten prison-camp memoir published in Slate magazine.


Afghan president claims US violating detainee pact

President Karzai said US forces are capturing and holding Afghans in violation of a detainee transfer pact and, that US forces should turn over that responsibility to Karzai’s forces. 


Taliban attack Bagram, skateboarders

Insurgents attacked Bagram Air Base outside Kabul—and a skateboarding program run by a nonprofit for Kabul youth, killing four kids.