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Topic - Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. has increased its surveillance over the Afghan-Pakistani border since Pakistan began pounding a militant stronghold with airstrikes, but so far officials have not seen any militants fleeing the latest offensive.
The top U.S. and coalition commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that President Barack Obama's decision to keep about 10,000 American troops in the country past 2014 has eliminated any uncertainty Afghans may have had about America's commitment.
A U.S. senator leading a bipartisan delegation to Afghanistan called on President Barack Obama Saturday to announce a decision on his plans for future troop levels in the country on the assumption a much-delayed security pact eventually will be signed with Kabul.
The four-star general in charge of helping the Afghan military deal with tribal conflicts and Taliban attacks has painted a grim picture of how that military will look in 2015 in the wake of the departure of foreign troops.
Allied and Afghan forces are putting a greater focus on going after the Haqqani militant network, which has threatened to disrupt the Afghan presidential elections in April, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday.
U.S. special operations forces handed over their base in a strategic district of eastern Afghanistan to local Afghan special forces on Saturday, senior U.S. commanders said. The withdrawal satisfies a demand by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that U.S. forces leave the area after allegations that the Americans' Afghan counterparts committed human rights abuses there on U.S. orders.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the Taliban and the United States of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave — an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan rejected as "categorically false."
A series of security problems and fractured relations with Afghan leaders plagued Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's first trip here as Pentagon chief, including the Afghan president's accusations that the United States and the Taliban are working in concert to show that violence in the country will worsen if most coalition troops leave.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday officially banned the nation's security forces from requesting international airstrikes during operations in residential areas.
The top American commander in Afghanistan said on Sunday that he believes the U.S.-led NATO coalition can operate effectively despite the Afghan president's decision to ban Afghan security forces from requesting airstrikes in residential areas.
He added that there was growing divisiveness and frustration among the Taliban.
"I don't see, at least today, the divisive politics that obviously resulted in the situation in Iraq playing out here in Afghanistan," said Dunford. "We're encouraged by the fact that we will have a bilateral security agreement. I'm encouraged by the fact that we have multiethnic (presidential) tickets."