February 22nd, 2012
06:40 PM ET

Military: Thousands of troops needed to secure Syrian chemical sites

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. military has calculated it could take more than 75,000 ground troops to secure Syria's chemical warfare facilities if they were at risk of being looted or left unguarded, CNN has learned.

The conclusion comes from a military analysis of options for Syria that the Department of Defense is preparing for president should he request it, according to a senior U.S. official.

Securing Syria's chemical sites would be "extraordinarily difficult" given the scope of the problem, a Department of Defense official told CNN. FULL POST

February 14th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Taliban won't talk peace with Afghans

By Nick Paton Walsh

The Taliban have met with U.S. officials to discuss possible peace talks, but do not want to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman's comments, rejecting a key American condition, could potentially derail American efforts for Afghans to reach a negotiated end to the decade-long war.

In an e-mail response to questions from CNN, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied previous reports that the Taliban had been invited to meet with the Karzai government in Saudi Arabia, saying that talks with what he called a "puppet" government were pointless.

Read more of Nick's reporting here

Filed under: Afghanistan • FIRST ON CNN/EXCLUSIVE • ISAF • Kabul • Karzai • Taliban • US Central Command
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