Leon Panetta, the US Defense Secretary, has said that the US is winning the war in Afghanistan. Panetta was in a surprise visit to Afghanistan to review the situation for withdrawing of the US troops. He told troops at Forward Operating Base Sharana, 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Pakistan border, in the eastern province of Paktika, "We're moving in the right direction and we're winning this very tough conflict."
The acknowledgment itself shows that how difficult it has been for the US to continue the war for the last ten years and how tough it will be to bring it to an end. Pakistan has been restricting the transit of supplies for international forces operating to stabilize Afghanistan.
Iran has been leaving no stone unturned to challenge the productivity of the US presence here in Afghanistan. President Karzai's government has been indulged in corruption and graft, eating into public support for international presence in Afghanistan and leading to a decline in public support in western capitals for the mission to be accomplished here in Afghanistan.
These are the challenges that have been facing the US and its allies in the war against Taliban and other brutal insurgent groups. That is why Panetta told the troops "Are there challenges out there? You're damn right, there are challenges.
Are we going to be able to take on those challenges? You're damn right we will." He expressed optimism by stating that "Ultimately here in Afghanistan, we will be able to establish a country that is able to govern and secure itself, we will make sure that the Taliban will never be able to find safe haven here, that Al-Qaeda will never again be able to find safe havens here."
Afghans' hope for such a country was rekindled after the US led the international intervention into Afghanistan to drive out the Taliban and install democracy in the country. But this expectation was not met.
Afghan people are already frustrated with the level of progress made by the international community in making sure that Taliban would not return to force them in the way they want. They expect a turnaround but it seems to be late because international forces are leaving.