Defense

July 11, 2012

Afghan progress shows surge strategy’s success, DOD officials say

by SFC Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

A range of successes shows the surge strategy in Afghanistan has been effective, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters July 10.

“Let’s take stock of where we’ve been,” Little said in response to a reporter’s question on whether the surge had succeeded. “Over the past few years, we’ve taken the fight to the enemy. They’ve had to shift tactics because of our success … [and] the success of the Afghan national security forces and our [International Security Assistance Force] partners.”

Afghan forces have grown to 350,000 strong, and their capabilities are improving every day, Little added. He acknowledged that more work remains in Afghanistan. “It’s still a war, and challenges lie ahead,” he said.

Little noted progress outside the military aspect, citing improvements in literacy, economic development and Taliban fighters laying down their weapons and reintegrating into Afghan society.

“These are just some of the factors that point to the success, not just of the surge, but of the overall strategy the United States has laid out with our partners and with our Afghan allies,” Little said.

Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Defense Department spokesman, rejected criticism by some observers of the surge’s focus on southern Afghanistan.

“I’ve seen these arguments that some people believe that moving the Marines into Helmand [province] and the hinting that the bulk of the surge being in the south and around Kandahar wasn’t the right approach,” he said. “All I would say to that is, even looking back now, we can say certainly that it was.”

Kirby emphasized that at the outset of the surge, southern Afghanistan was “a very perilous place” for Afghans and the “heartland for the Taliban.”

“They were, before we moved the surge in, very much in control,” he said. “[They] showed no interest in ceding that territory. It’s been their historic homeland. So we pushed them largely out of the population centers of the south and the southwest, and it’s had an effect.”

Some of the fighting has migrated to the east, Kirby acknowledged, but he called it a “different kind of fight aided by safe havens on the other side of the border.”

“But the south is a vastly differently place [now],” he said. “It is no longer the heartland of the Taliban that it once was. So I would categorically refute the argument that the surge was not only the wrong decision, but that it was misplaced, physically [and] geographically. [I] absolutely don’t believe that at all.”

Little said the strategy has been successful, though imperfect.

“This strategy has been very effectively implemented,” he said. “Has it been done to perfection? No, that’s entirely impossible. But it’s been done very well, and we have learned lessons along the way and we have quickly adapted.

“This has been the right thing to do, and we have done it well,” he added.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>