U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan have uncovered several large weapons caches, including one containing Chinese-made surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
The Pentagon says the time-consuming work of sweeping across Afghanistan, hunting for fugitive al-Qaida and Taleban fighters and their weapons, continues to pay off.
General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. armed forces, says during the past two weeks several large weapons caches have been uncovered. "U.S. and coalition forces have uncovered several weapons caches, which include large numbers of RPG's [rocket propelled grenades] and their launchers, small-arms and small-arms rounds - this is in the hundreds of thousands - grenades, mortars and even 30 shoulder-fired ... surface-to-air missiles," he said.
General Myers says it is the largest such missile find since U.S. forces moved into Afghanistan late last year.
Although defense officials were concerned last year about the threat to U.S. aircraft from portable missiles, there were no reported cases of any planes being shot down by one.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Pakistan has moved more troops to its border with Afghanistan. He calls it a helpful move in the effort to capture fugitive al-Qaida and Taleban who may be moving across the generally porous frontier.
Mr. Rumsfeld also suggests the move is an apparent indication of easing tensions between Pakistan and India. "Whether it reflects an additional easing of tension is for them to characterize, but obviously they had a choice," he said. "To our advantage, they have put them on the Afghan border."
Mr. Rumsfeld has just returned to Washington from a foreign trip that included stops in both India and Pakistan.