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Taliban's spring offensive won't succeed: Gen. Allen

Taliban's spring offensive won't succeed: Gen. Allen

Mar 27, 2012 - 12:33

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): A top American commander has said they have done much to ‘degrade the Talibaninfo-icon’s capabilities’ this winter by denying them resources and sanctuary -- making it hard for them to retaliate in the spring season.

General John Allen, commander of the US and NATOinfo-icon forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference the US would only decide in September on its force level in the country.

“I believe we've made it harder for them (the Taliban) to succeed in a spring offensive of their own. We need to get through this fighting season for me to fully understand that amount of combat power that we'll need in 2013,” said Allen.

The commander said once the surge forces returned to the US by September, he would evaluate the size of combat power needed in 2013.

“I believe that power to be significant, but I do not say that it will need to rest at any certain level throughout this year or 2013.”

“The truth is, there is no way I can know that right (numbers) now, certainly not until after we've emerged from the fighting season and not until after I've had the chance to assess the state of the insurgency,” he added.

Allen said it would also depend on the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSFinfo-icon).

“It is not just a matter of what to do with the remaining 68,000 US troops. I must also carefully consider the combination of forces in-theater. There will still be some 40,000 International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) in the field and increasingly capable and increasingly numerous Afghan security forces,” the general said.

Responding to questions on recent incidents where American personnel were being shot by the Afghan forces, Allen said it is no secret that the Taliban has infiltrated the ranks of both the ANSF and those elements that support us directly on board the camps.

“It's difficult to tell right now whether this is an increase in the operational tempo. I think that we can all probably assume that with some of the incidents that have occurred in the last several months that that a potential causal factor in some of the extremism that resulted in a green-on-blue event,” he said.



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