News / Asia

US: 'Encouraging' Signs in Afghanistan, But 2014 Pullout Uncertain

US: 'Encouraging' Signs in Afghanistan, But 2014 Pullout Uncertain
US: 'Encouraging' Signs in Afghanistan, But 2014 Pullout Uncertain

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan said Monday he cannot say for sure whether the Afghan army will be ready to take over security from NATO forces by a 2014 deadline.

General David Petraeus said in a U.S. interview on ABC News that he is encouraged by the progress in Afghanistan since the United States deployed an additional 30,000 troops there last year. He added, however, "No commander ever is going to come out and say, 'I'm confident that we can do this.'"

His comments come as a new poll shows Afghans' confidence in the U.S. troops' ability to provide security has dropped or matched previous lows from earlier in the nine-year war.

More than half of Afghans said in the survey they believe coalition forces should leave the country by mid-2011 or earlier. Almost 30 percent of Afghans said insurgents' attacks on foreign forces are justified, compared to eight percent in 2009. And 73 percent of those polled favor a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

The opinion poll was based on interviews with nearly 1,700 adults in Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

The Washington Post, ABC News, the BBC and Germany's ARD television collaborated on the opinion poll with the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research.  The margin for error in the survey is said to be 3.5 percentage points.

Afghans in two of the country's most violent provinces expressed the most confidence in the coalition forces' ability to defeat insurgents. Approval of the NATO operation in Helmand province jumped from 14 percent in 2009 to 67 percent, and people in neighboring Kandahar shared similar opinions.

Despite U.S. criticisms of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, six in 10 Afghans expressed favorable views of their president.

Other results indicated that Afghans see deterioration in their economic situation and the rights of women in the country.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is due to release a progress report on the war in Afghanistan in the coming days.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid