Afghan official: US target for Afghanistan army too low
KABUL -- Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi said Tuesday that a key part of President Barack Obama's new war plan -- accelerating the training of Afghan soldiers -- does not go far enough to meet the country's defense needs.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the new head of a U.S.-NATO command responsible for training and developing Afghan soldiers and police, said Tuesday that although the groundwork is being laid to expand the Afghan National Army beyond the current target of 134,000 troops by Oct. 31, 2010, no fixed higher target has been set. There is a goal of eventually fielding 240,000 soldiers and 160,000 police, but Caldwell said that could change.
Karimi, operational commander of Afghanistan's defense ministry, said a 134,000-member Afghan National Army is shy of what is needed.
Bomber kills pro-Taliban lawmaker as amnesty mulled
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Supreme Court said Tuesday it will soon begin examining an expired amnesty covering the president and key allies. The decision launches a process that could unseat the U.S.-allied leader just as the Obama administration needs stability in Islamabad to help crack down on the Taliban.
Highlighting the dangers, a suicide bomber killed an anti-Taliban lawmaker in the Swat Valley -- the latest in a series of bombings as the army presses offensives in militant strongholds close to the Afghan border.
Iran warns it could prosecute UK yachtsmen
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran warned on Tuesday that it will prosecute five British sailors if it is proven they had ''bad intentions'' when their 60-foot racing yacht entered its waters, in what Britain says was an innocent case of a vessel accidentally going astray in the Gulf.
The vessel was on its way from Bahrain to Dubai last Wednesday for the start of its first off-shore race when it had a problem with its propeller, according to Andrew Pindar, whose Team Pindar owns the yacht. It drifted into Iranian waters and was seized by the elite Revolutionary Guard near the Iranian island of Sirri, which lies near the mouth of the narrow Hormuz Strait off Dubai.