Progress in Taliban fight - general

2011-03-15 22:39

Washington - Coalition forces have halted the march of Taliban militants in parts of Afghanistan, top US commander General David Petraeus said on Tuesday, but he warned that their "fragile" success could still be undone.

"The momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas," Petraeus told US lawmakers.

Petraeus, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan said progress has been achieved since US President Barack Obama poured thousands of reinforcements into the country in late 2009 to thwart the Taliban insurgency.

There are now 97 000 US forces on the ground fighting alongside 45 000 troops from Nato countries as part of the international coalition put in place after US-led troops ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001.

The progress made in the past months means the coalition would in the coming months begin transferring responsibility for security to Afghan forces in many provinces, Petraeus said.

It would also help frame his recommendation "for commencement of the drawdown of the US surge forces in July".

"The hard-fought achievements in 2010 and early 2011 have enabled the Joint Afghan-Nato Transition Board to recommend initiation this spring of transition to Afghan lead in several provinces," Petraeus said.

"However, while the security progress achieved over the past year is significant, it is also fragile and reversible," he warned.

Optimistic

The goal remained to prevent the war-torn country becoming once again a haven for al-Qaeda militants while strengthening Afghan institutions such as the army and police.

Nato countries have agreed that full responsibility for security should be handed over to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, allowing the coalition troops to withdraw from the country.

Petraeus said he was optimistic about the course of the fight going forward, after the coalition's recent military successes.

"We believe that we will be able to build on the momentum achieved in 2010, though that clearly will entail additional tough fighting," he said.

He noted that "the insurgents are already striving to regain lost momentum and lost safe havens as we enter the spring fighting season".

The military commander added that planning already is underway for a time when Nato forces no longer are tasked with maintaining Afghanistan's security, and when it is fully Kabul's responsibility.

"We are also now beginning to look beyond 2014... as the United States and Afghanistan, and Nato and Afghanistan, discuss possible strategic partnerships," Petraeus said.

"All of this is enormously reassuring to our Afghan partners and of considerable concern to the Taliban," he said.

Read more on:    taliban  |  al-qaeda  |  nato  |  david petraeus  |  afghanistan  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.