US aims to leave behind a stable Afghanistan: Allen
“Through the end of 2014 and beyond, we're creating a series of conditions that will ultimately leave Afghanistan a sovereign state, and afforded the time and the space to develop its institutions of governance,” General John Allen, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said.
“We aim to leave behind a stable Afghanistan, a contributor to the stability and the prosperity of the region, and never again a safe haven for the terrorists. That remains our objective, and we're on track to achieve it,” Allen told Pentagon correspondents in a video conference call from Kabul.
Allen said coalition and Afghan forces maintained unrelenting pressure on the insurgents and had denied and disrupted their operations and largely pushing them out of the population centers.
“We've limited their freedom of movement, and interdicted their logistics. We've taken scores of their leaders and fighters off the battlefield, and we've systematically separated insurgents from more and more of the Afghan population,” he said.
He said they had achieved success while continuing to move the Afghan national security forces into the lead. Partnered operations had increasingly been led by Afghan forces,” he said, adding the insurgency was confronted by rapidly transforming and increasingly capable Afghan forces, who shared most of the burden and sacrifice.
“As we continue to mourn our own precious and honoured dead, we recognise that our Afghan partners are now suffering the preponderance of the friendly casualties. Their resilience, reinforced by the commitment of the international community to stand by Afghanistan well after 2014, has sent a powerful and a disheartening signal to the insurgents,” he said.
“For the insurgents to prevail, they will have to keep up their increasingly costly fight for at least another decade. To be sure, we have a significant amount of work yet to do, and some of that work will be deadly,” he said.
“With 28 months left in the ISAF mission, we are forging ahead with the process of transition. Ultimately, our goal will not only be achieved by that which will be secured by ISAF forces, but primarily our goal will be achieved by Afghan forces. And as the Afghans assume full responsibility for the security of their country, our support will continue,” Allen said.
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