Sunday, October 30, 2011

US sees security gains in Afghanistan


Following suicide attacks world laughing at America, Pentagon, military in Afghanistan; scoff at Obama's propaganda machine

Taipei Times
10/30/2011

Taliban attacks have declined in most of Afghanistan for the first time, but insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan are feeding violence on the border and threatening the US-led war effort, the Pentagon said in a report on Friday.
 
Taliban laughing at U.S., have history on their side
A surge of US and allied troops has paved the way for security gains in the south and elsewhere while the Taliban have failed to gain back former southern strongholds in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, the Pentagon said in its report to the US Congress.

   “The most significant development during this reporting period is the reduction in year-over-year violence,” said the progress report, which covered April 1 to Sept. 30.

    After five successive years with insurgent attacks steadily rising, Taliban-initiated violence began to drop in May as compared to the previous year, it said. The total number of “enemy-initiated attacks” fell to a total of 2,500 last month, compared to about 4,000 in the same month last year, it said.

     In seven areas where NATO has transferred security duties this year to Afghan forces, insurgents have sometimes tried to reverse the transition, but government units “have been able to handle them on their own,” a senior defense official said.

The report showed US and allied troops were “on track” with plans to gradually hand over security for the whole country to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, despite worries over insurgent havens in Pakistan, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

    However, insurgent camps in neighboring Pakistan beyond the reach of NATO forces and the Afghan government’s shortcomings, posed a risk to overall progress, the report.

   Security conditions in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border and south of Kabul, remain “tenuous,” with violence sharply up compared to last year’s summer fighting season. “The rise in violence and the insurgency’s ability to carry out operations in the east is directly attributable to safe havens in Pakistan,” it said.

It certainly looks like the U.S. is "winning"
The Deputy Commander of US forces in Afghanistan General Curtis Scaparrotti said on Thursday that Pakistan’s Frontier Corps appeared to be allowing insurgents to direct rocket and mortar fire at US troops in some eastern provinces on the border.

    US officers have reported a sharp rise in cross-border attacks since US special forces conducted a raid inside Pakistan in May to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a raid that angered Islamabad.

    Pakistan, worried about arch-foe India’s potential influence in Afghanistan, has maintained links with some militants as a hedge to protect its interests, analysts say.

    Pakistani officials have often doubted whether the US could succeed in Afghanistan and as a result believe that “they have to hedge against us failing” and leaving, the defense official said.

   In a break with previous reports and public statements the report did not describe progress as “fragile and reversible.”


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