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Front Lines: General 'satisfied' with war progress

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Smoke rises in the wake of a U.S. airstrike on targets in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.  


The anti-Taliban Northern Alliance reported more advances south of Mazar-e Sharif as U.S. airstrikes focused on targets in Kandahar and Taliban troop position north of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks, commander in charge of the daily U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, said he was "satisfied" with how the campaign is progressing.


The opposition Northern Alliance said Thursday its forces have advanced to within a few miles south of the strategic Taliban-held town of Mazar-e Sharif in north Afghanistan. If the claim is true, Northern Alliance forces could be within four miles of Mazar-e Sharif, which lies along strategic supply routes to Kabul. (Full story)

North of Kabul, U.S. warplanes targeted Taliban frontline troops Thursday along the Shamali Plains and the Shafy mountain range near strategic Bagram Air Base. Bombing raids also were reported in Kandahar, the spiritual headquarters of the Taliban. (Full story)

Gen. Franks, the head of U.S. Central Command, said Thursday he was "satisfied" with how Operation Enduring Freedom is being conducted. Franks said those who want the military campaign completed in two weeks or one month or two months will be "disappointed." (Full story)

Deep in the heart of South America, the region where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet has some of the most porous borders -- and busiest black markets -- in the world. Sources told CNN they believe the tri-border area is being used as a haven and source of funding for terrorists linked to Iran's Party of God and to organizations that work closely with Osama bin Laden. (Full story)

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers is calling on Afghanistan's neighbors to open their borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to flee the fighting. He stressed "the commitment made by coalition leaders to the Afghan people that the war is not against them, and that the humanitarian effort will remain a priority." (Full story)

The U.S. Central Command has requested that the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis be deployed earlier than planned to the Arabian Sea, officials said. If the Pentagon approves, the carrier from San Diego could be sent as soon as next week, about a month ahead of its scheduled deployment. (Full story)

Three Japanese warships will depart for the Indian Ocean early Friday to provide non-combat support to the U.S.-led war on terrorism. The ships will leave from the southern port of Sasebo, marking the first time since World War II that Japanese forces will operate outside of Japanese territory. (Full story)

Pentagon sources said a search is under way for a sailor from the USS Kitty Hawk who apparently fell overboard into the Arabian Sea. The Kitty Hawk is serving as a floating base for U.S. Special Operations troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Refugees in Pakistan are allowed to receive an education, something strictly forbidden by the Taliban. CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon reports (November 8)

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Overrun by casualties and lacking in equipment, Afghan medical facilities are getting stretched to their limits. CNN's Nic Robertson reports (November 8)

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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? (Click here for more)

Where are the Taliban positioning troops and equipment in civilian areas? Does this factor into where the U.S. decides to strike? (Click here for more)

What effect will the support and opposition within Pakistan of the U.S.-led military strikes have on the war against terrorism?

When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? Are they making any progress? (Click here for more.)

What is life like in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with increasingly intense U.S. airstrikes overhead? (Click here for more.)

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last? (Click here for more.)

What is the goal of the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success? (Click here for more.)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more.)

Who are the key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (Click here for more.)


George W. Bush: U.S. president (Click here for more.)

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. (Click here for more.)

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. (Click here for more.)

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (Click here for more.)

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. (Click here for more.)

George Tenet: CIA director. (Click here for more.)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan.

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)


The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.


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