January 26th, 2014 18:10 EST
Afghan Forces Winning Tough Fight Against Taliban
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
Afghan National Security Forces are prevailing in their battles against the Taliban and other fighters, a senior U.S. commander told reporters from Afghanistan today.
And, Afghan forces are doing well with minimal assistance from the International Security Assistance Force as the end of the U.S.-led NATO mission in Afghanistan nears, Army Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the commander of ISAF`s Joint Command said as he addressed the Pentagon press corps via satellite.
Throughout the summer, it was a tough fight and the Afghans stood up " and fought well across the board throughout the provinces and the districts, " Milley said. The Afghan security forces were tactically overmatching anything that the Taliban " or anybody else could throw at them. "
But Milley acknowledged Afghan casualties have increased 50-70 percent during some 3,000-4,000 firefights in recent years.
The U.S. and its NATO allies, Milley said, have shifted gears in Afghanistan since the invasion following the 9/11 attacks. At that time, he said, there were no Afghan police, and only remnants of the Northern Alliance patched together in small units.
We came into this country " to prevent [it] from ever again being a platform to carry terrorism to the shores of the United States or any other vital national interest, " Milley said.
Antiterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, Milley explained, were intended to stabilize the country and establish a capable Afghan security force.
In the ensuing years, Afghan forces` leadership, skills and cohesion have continued to improve, Milley said.
The Afghans stepped up to the fight, " the general said. Was it perfect? No. Was it pretty? No. But war is not a pretty thing.
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