News / Asia

US: Insurgents 'Degraded' in Eastern Afghanistan, Not Defeated

Major General Curtis Scaparrotti (undated photo)
Major General Curtis Scaparrotti (undated photo)
Al Pessin

The commander of coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan said Thursday that his troops have "degraded" the capabilities of insurgents in the region during the past year.  But he added that they can still regenerate their forces and carry out attacks.  U.S. Army Major General Curtis Scaparrotti said a joint military and civilian effort is beginning to move his region into a situation that could allow for more Afghan control and a smaller foreign presence next year.  

Speaking from his headquarters at Bagram Air Base, General Scaparrotti told reporters his forces have made progress on the military side of the international effort in eastern Afghanistan, particularly against the ally of the Taliban and al-Qaida known as the Haqqani network.

"We, along with the special operations forces that work with us, have had great effect against the Haqqani network," said  General Scaparrotti. "And we can see that we've stressed their leadership, their facilitation, the movement of their expertise and resupply.  And within the Taliban, we've seen the same effects."

Still the general acknowledged that the insurgent groups have not been defeated.

"These networks are good enough and they're resilient enough, particularly the Haqqani network, that we have to maintain that pressure," he said. "A network that we don't maintain pressure on after we take it down, it's generally six or seven weeks and they can begin to rebuild that."

The general says the insurgents are using more roadside bombs and suicide bombers than they have in the past.  But he says recent high-profile attacks, including one on his headquarters base, were designed more for publicity than for military purposes.

Scaparrotti also says the top U.S. civilian in eastern Afghanistan operates as his co-commander.  He says military operations and training for the Afghan security forces support the main civilian effort in the region - to build Afghan government capacity and convince the people to support the government.

In that regard, he cited a year-long anti-corruption effort involving officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I'll be frank.  I was somewhat frustrated around the nine and a half, ten-month mark with this because we had put a lot of work into it," said  General Scaparrotti. "But in the last two months now of our tour, we have begun to make progress."

The number of U.S. government civilians in the general's region has increased from about 20 to 170 during the past 12 months, and will increase by another hundred by the end of the year.  General Scaparrotti's successor, who is set to arrive in two weeks, will also get about 4,000 of the 30,000 U.S. surge forces going to Afghanistan, which Scaparrotti says will help spread security and governance to more of the region.  He says this is a critical period in the effort to reach President Barack Obama's goal of beginning to transition to Afghan government control, and to begin to withdrawal U.S. forces, by July of next year.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid