News / USA

US Defends Progress in Afghanistan

Incoming Lieutenant General Curtis M. Scaparrotti speaks during a change of command ceremony in Kabul. (File Photo - July 11, 2011)
Incoming Lieutenant General Curtis M. Scaparrotti speaks during a change of command ceremony in Kabul. (File Photo - July 11, 2011)
Luis Ramirez

One of the top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan is defending the progress coalition troops are making in Afghanistan, after a U.S. Lieutenant Colonel publicly countered U.S. assertions the allied campaign is succeeding against Taliban insurgents.

Real picture

The criticism has come from U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis in an essay he wrote called Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How Military Leaders Have Let Us Down, which appeared in the Armed Forces Journal - an independent publication on military affairs.

In it, Davis says his experiences in Afghanistan bore - in his words, "no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground."  He said he witnessed the absence of success at every level.  

U.S. officials say they have made significant progress against Taliban insurgents during the past year, and that well more than half of Afghanistan’s territory is under the control of Afghan security forces.

Opinions

At a Pentagon briefing Wednesday, the U.S. military’s number-two commander in Afghanistan Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti answered Davis’ criticism, saying it was only one person’s opinion of the general situation.

“I am confident, in my personal view, that our outlook is accurate,” he said.

Scaparrotti says he does not doubt some of what Davis wrote, and he believes U.S. forces have work to do in training Afghan forces.

“These soldiers will fight, particularly at the company level," he said. "There is no question about that. They are going to be good enough as we build them to secure their country and to counter the insurgency that they are dealing with now. Will they be at the standard that we have for our soldiers? No. Not at least the conventional forces.”

Transition

Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said U.S. forces would transition next year from a combat role to training Afghan soldiers and police. His remarks triggered criticism from some U.S. lawmakers who question whether Afghanistan is secure enough to begin that transition.

U.S. officials say Panetta’s statements did not deviate from previously set plans for a drawdown. They have faced further questions after the United nations reported last week that the number of civilian deaths in 2011 was the highest on record in the decade-long conflict, with 3,021 Afghan civilians killed as insurgents stepped up suicide and roadside bomb attacks.

In his remarks, Lieutenant General Scaparrotti said the U.S. military will start sending advisory teams this year to help Afghan forces take the lead in the fight against insurgents.  He said the aim is to give the Afghans enough to time to get trained before U.S. forces depart in 2014.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid