US general expects uptick in violence
WASHINGTON (PAN): In the aftermath of massive jailbreak in Kandahar province, a US commander who just completed his tenure in the region has predicted an upsurge in violence in the country.
"Any time you have a jailbreak of that nature, you have those people who are going to rejoin the insurgency, probably, most of them. Again, that would provide certainly not something a military commander would like to see, but it can be dealt with," he said.
Gen. Richard Mills, former commander of the Regional Command (Southwest), told a news briefing he was expecting an escalation in violence that traditionally came with the springtime.
"We expect a counterattack. The enemy has to counterattack. He has been defeated every place -- he fought a defensive battle last year; he lost it. He lost it every place. He's got to come back in some way, shape or form, or he is in some serious trouble," he said.
Mills added they had waged an effective campaign that was designed to keep the pressure on the insurgents throughout the winter, a time when the fighters traditionally go to ground to recoup and rest. "We didn't give them that capability."
Responding to questions on a drawdown of troops beginning in July, Dereck Hogan, senior advisor to special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan said that the process should not be viewed as an exit strategy. "Transition cannot be viewed, to the Afghans or the international community, as an exit strategy, as a race for the exit door."
He remarked: "What we should see over the next months and years is a more clearly articulated plan that ISAF right now is very hard working on … is developing implementation plans for the provinces that are beginning the transition process."
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