Taliban can’t face Afghan forces: Lavoy
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Taliban must come to grips with the reality that they could not defeat Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) that performed admirably this fighting season, a top Pentagon official said on Thursday.
“The ANSF are being tested this fighting season. They're performing admirably. Afghan forces now plan and conduct the overwhelming majority of combat operations and also are taking the vast majority of casualties,” he added.
Peter Lavoy, the acting assistant secretary of defense, said during a Congressional hearing the Afghans were holding the gains of recent years, and the Taliban must come to grips with the fact that they could not defeat the Afghan forces militarily.
“The United States is transitioning in Afghanistan, not leaving. We are on track to bring the ISAF mission to a close by the end of 2014 and transition to Operation Resolute Support. Beyond this NATO mission, the US also plans to conduct a narrowly focused counterterrorism mission,” Lavoy added.
It was a critical time for US efforts in Afghanistan after more than a decade of war and tremendous sacrifices by the people of the United States, coalition partners and Afghans, he observed. They could see the prospect for peace in Afghanistan.
He acknowledged that there are gaps in ANSF and the police. “I think one of the most remarkable features in the last two years is the ability for the army and the police to do more and more of the job themselves.”
They were increasingly planning operations themselves, pulling in intelligence, identifying where adversaries were, identifying threats to populations and they were going after them successfully, he acknowledged.
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