Continued from page 2

Gen. Keane, who last visited Afghanistan in September, said the situation on the ground is changing for the better and if this momentum continues, by next spring “we will have definable progress that will be self-evident to anyone.”

He said the surge of U.S. troops was working and cited an “erosion of the will of the enemy” and a “breakdown of its morale” as key indicators of this progress.

Gen. Keane said every coalition commander he met while in Afghanistan had evidence of Taliban fighters reaching out to switch sides. “Sometimes it was just a handful and in others as much as 200… that is a very significant factor,” he said.

Mr. Neumann, meanwhile, said it was important to check a desire for instant results and cautioned against exaggerating progress.