More U.S. Advisers Will Help Break Afghan War Stalemate, Top U.S. Commander Says by Lolita C. Baldor – AP
U.S. military troops in Afghanistan have begun working with smaller Afghan units to prepare them for a more aggressive offensive against the Taliban next year in a push to break the stalemate in the 16-year-old war, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East said Thursday.
While acknowledging there is still much more to be done, Army Gen. Joseph Votel sounded a more optimistic tone, saying he is seeing some positive trends in the Afghan’s fight.
As more older Afghan commanders leave or are pushed out of their posts, younger leaders are taking over, he said, adding that the forces are conducting more operations and going on the offensive more often. As a result, he said, officials are seeing the number of casualties start to go down.
“I think we’re still very keen to break the stalemate and that’s what this effort is about here,” Votel told reporters at his U.S Central Command headquarters. “I’m not declaring victory here with this - but I think some of the steps we’ve taken ... are positive steps that are moving us in that direction to break the stalemate.” …