News / USA

    New Afghan War Commander Reports Progess Against Taliban

    NATO's newly appointed commander in Afghanistan, David Petraeus, has briefed officials at NATO headquarters about his plan for the Afghan mission.  Speaking at NATO's headquarters in Brussels, General David Petraeus said forces in Afghanistan are making progress against the Taliban.

    "I think that there is no question but that the Taliban had the momentum, had the initiative if you will, coming into this year. And indeed, one of the real areas of focus has been to reverse that process and I think that process has been reversed in certain areas of Afghanistan," said Petraeus.

    He added that the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan will remain the same under his command. And protecting civilian lives, the general said, remains a top priority.

    "In a counter-insurgency the human terrain is the decisive terrain and therefore you must do everything humanly possible to protect the population and indeed again to reduce the loss of innocent civilian life."

    The appointment of General Petraeus was unanimously confirmed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate.  He is expected to arrive at NATO headquarters in Kabul on Friday.

    Petraeus replaces General Stanley McChrystal who was removed from the post last week after the publication of a controversial magazine report in which he and his aides were critical of top U.S. officials.

    Speaking to the Senate Wednesday, General Petraeus said he would reassess - but not change - the rules of engagement in Afghanistan.  Some critics have said that current military operating rules put the lives of U.S. troops in danger. 

    "There is no intent to change rules of engagement, it is to look very hard at how the rules and tactical directive are implemented and to ensure that there is even implementation across all units, instead of some unevenness that has crept in in some,"  Petreaus said.  

    With 102 troops killed, June was the deadliest month during the course of nine years of war in Afghanistan.

    Dan Plesch, director of the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, says some U.S. allies in Europe were upset because the Obama administration did not consult them over the change in command from General McChrystal to General Petraeus.

    "Theoretically in a democratic alliance, the secretary general should have been involved.  But I think the White House saw this as a domestic U.S. issue and also needed to maintain confidentiality.  But it does point to what the realities are within the alliance, which is that in the end it is the U.S. that calls the shots and the others have to get along," said Plesch.

    Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban told the British Broadcasting Corporation that insurgents are winning the war in Afghanistan.  He also said the Taliban would not enter into negotiations with NATO.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora