Gains made in reintegration area: Gen Allen
WASHINTON (PAN): Success is being gained in the area of reconciliation and reintegration in Afghanistan, a top American general has said. A large number of Taliban foot soldiers are joining the mainstream.
"The intent ultimately of the surge, which began in the middle of July of '10 and continues on, was to create the opportunity for us to roll back the momentum of the insurgents," the NATO and US forces commander in Afghanistan said.
Gen. John Allen told Pentagon correspondents in a video conference from Kabul on Wednesday that significant progress had been made on the reintegration front across the country, particularly in the south.
"We've achieved significant security gains in the Helmand province, in Kandahar, in other places in Afghanistan. Not only have we stopped the momentum, but we've rolled it back. And as a consequence, we've seen improvements in governance," he said.
It is not uncommon in an insurgency, when losing ground, the fighters resort to spectacular attacks, according to the general, who expected an uptick in the militant-linked violence.
With regard to the peace drive, he said the Afghan population had reintegrated more than 2,300 fighters and another 3,000 were in the pipeline.
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