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262 words - July 31, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"The ISAF surge over the past three years has put the Afghan government firmly in control of all of Afghanistan's major cities and provincial capitals and has driven the insurgency into the countryside," US acting Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Lavoy explained at a Pentagon press briefing, while introducing a report released on July 30 by the US Department of Defense (DOD).
This report, updated twice a year, covered October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2013. It cited Afghan Security Forces (ANSF) progress and explained that they have been taking the lead throughout the country effectively. During a visit to Australian troops in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shared a similar assessment, saying "this year's fighting season is the first time in over a decade that the ANSF are fighting the insurgency almost entirely alone."
Yet, the report noticed, insider attacks remained "significant threats" with a 120 percent increase in insider attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents, and "the numbers of attacks during the reporting period were consistent with the attacks experienced in late 2011 and early 2012."
Additional issues have yet to be dealt with: cooperation with Pakistan still lacked trust, especially on "controlling the enemy sanctuaries in that country"; although the Afghan security voters "are in shape to protect voters," there was still serious concern over the ability of the Taliban and/or terrorist groups to disrupt the 2014 Afghan elections; lastly corruption continued to undermine the Afghan state's credibility and the country's stability.
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