Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan, Hours After Taliban Talks Announced

Defense Department file photo

No one said that the Taliban's agreement to participate in direct talks with the U.S. would be easy. But the plan's first big challenge occurred just hours after its unveiling, when four U.S. soldiers died as a result of "indirect fire" from an insurgent attack at Bagram air base, according to a U.S. official cited in multiple media reports. The conditions laid out by the U.S. as prerequisites for the direct talks include a renouncement of violence from the Taliban. 

Authorities aren't confirming very much about the attacks, and it's not clear precisely who was behind it. Bagram air base is the largest of its kind used by U.S. troops in the country. Today, Afghan forces took over security responsibilities from the NATO coalition. While NATO, and the U.S., will continue to serve an advisory role in Afghanistan until  2014, they'll likely have to step in more directly as violence continues across the country. 

While the Taliban's willingness to participate in direct talks is a milestone, in a way -- it'd be the first time in the entire 12-year so-called "war on terror" began that such a thing had happened --  it's got a long way to go before the two groups get in the same book, let alone on the same page, on some key issues. Earlier this year, the Taliban had called for a "spring offensive" in Afghanistan against western targets. And while it looks like maybe that plan is at least sidelined, the group is still indicating strong reluctance to condemn al Qaeda directly.  So far, the Taliban agreed to release a statement indicating that "they would not allow anyone to threaten or harm other countries from Afghan soil," as the Guardian's report on the talks  put it. As we explained, the negotiations, scheduled to begin Thursday, will probably be very, very messy.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.