The Pentagon’s proposed $495.6 billion budget for the coming fiscal year would provide $154 billion for weapons purchases and research, $25 billion less than projected a year ago, according to the Defense Department.
Supervisor Atta Mohammad watches the cranes swivel and workers at the Naibabad freight terminal rush to unload wheat and construction material from Uzbekistan that’s just arrived on Afghanistan’s only railroad.
President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to ready a so-called zero-option plan for Afghanistan after an unsuccessful months-long campaign to pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign an agreement that would leave a residual U.S. force there after the end of the year.
President Barack Obama warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. is making plans for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by year’s end in the absence of a bilateral security agreement.
Nineteen Afghan soldiers were killed and seven others were missing after hundreds of Taliban guerrillas stormed an army checkpoint near the Pakistani border, Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the country’s defense ministry, said in a phone interview.
Abdul Qayum Karzai vowed to sign a security pact with the U.S. if he wins an Afghan presidential election in April, diverging from his younger brother’s stance in an effort to repair ties with the Obama administration.