WASHINGTON - The United States and its Afghan partners have made progress over the last six months in not just arresting the Taliban's momentum, but reversing it in a number of key areas, a senior defence official has said.
"We've taken away, we've wrested away areas that the insurgents have had under control for years in a number of cases," the defense official told Pentagon after it sent a six-monthly progress report to the Congress.
"In April 2010, after the surge began, we pointed out that we were making progress. We were seeing signs that we were starting to blunt and in some cases halt the momentum… And this six months' report says we're making tangible progress in some really key areas," said the official.
"So if you look at the narrative arc over that two-year period, you'll see that there was a real problem. The situation was deteriorating. The administration's reviews identified the means that were necessary to reverse that. Over the last year and a half as we put those forces into place, the situation on the ground is fundamentally changing," he added.
Responding to questions, the official said no decision had been made yet on the nature of a drawdown of troops, beginning in July. "I didn't anticipate how many there are, and that's a judgment that's being made by Gen. (David) Petraeus. He will be making his recommendations to the (defense) secretary."
The progress that has been made is consistent with the results expected from the surge and the additional resources put in, he insisted. The level of fighting was predicted to rise, but the most important thing was the growing capability of Afghan security forces, he concluded. (Pajhwok)