Situation in Afghanistan improves; Taliban desperate

The Fogh of War?

The Fogh of War: "We now see a new momentum in 2010"


“‘After a difficult year in 2009, we now see a new momentum in 2010 and it has already started,’ [NATO Secretary-General Anders] Fogh Rasmussen said Friday.” (Slobodan Lekic, “NATO Chief: Situation improving in Afghanistan after tough year,” Canadian Press, 5 February 2010)


“The insurgents are desperate and they are employing desperate tactics.” Brigadier General Eric Tremblay (Stephen White, “2 killed by Taliban,” Mirror, 6 July 2009)


“I’m not saying that this conflict is ending. Nor am I predicting that the going will be easy in Kandahar and Helmand. But within the borders of Afghanistan, the Taliban are losing momentum because they’re being challenged in more places, both politically and militarily.” Deputy Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General Christopher Alexander (Rosie DiManno, “Taliban losing momentum,” Toronto Star, 19 May 2008)

“[U.S. Brigadier General Douglas] Pritt, the Army’s No. 2 man in Afghanistan until he retired, says the apparent upsurge in violence is a sign of the Taliban’s desperation as its influence diminishes…. ‘They see their area of operation shrinking, they see their influence shrinking, and so with that, it’s just like anything, they’re more trapped, more desperate, and so they take more desperate acts.’” (Hamish McKenzie, “An American General’s Upbeat Assessment,” Asia Sentinel, 25 January 2008)


“The U.S. deputy commander in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Joseph Votel, said on December 16 that the security situation, governance, and economic conditions have improved in Afghanistan compared to last year…. ‘We are in a much better position right now than we were a year ago at this time,’ Votel said. (“U.S. general says the situation in Afghanistan is improving,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 18 December 2007)

“The situation in Afghanistan is improving in spite of reports to the contrary, said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as he finished a whirlwind tour of Canada’s Kandahar City base yesterday.” (“There is reason for optimism,” Montreal Gazette, 23 November 2007)


“[Chief of Defence Staff General Rick] Hillier said Canada and other NATO nations operating in Afghanistan are defeating the Taliban. ‘The Taliban are losing the last few areas where they used to rest and recuperate and plan and train,’ he said.” (“GG urges soldiers to take pride in Afghan mission,” CTV News, 25 June 2006)


“‘It looks to me as though we are going to be as a country able to draw down our forces in Afghanistan by, oh I suppose, 2,000 or 3,000 sometime very soon and it’s a direct result of the progress that’s being made in the country,’ [U.S. Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld said.” (Barbara Starr, “Pentagon to Reduce Troop Levels in Early 2006,” CNN, 20 December 2005)

“America’s senior military commander in Afghanistan warned Saturday that Taliban-linked terrorists might launch a large-scale attack in coming months in a desperate attempt to reverse their waning fortunes. But Lt. Gen. David Barno said the future was against them and predicted the near-total collapse of the Taliban within a year. ‘As these terrorist capabilities grow more and more limited, the hard-core fanatics will grow more and more desperate to try and do something to change the course of events in Afghanistan,’ Barno told a news conference.” (“U.S. commander sees near-collapse of Taliban within year, terrorists could still strike,” USA Today, 17 April 2005)


“Each time he goes to Afghanistan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [Gen. Richard B. Myers] said here Aug. 11, conditions in the country seem better than during his previous visit…. The general said security also is improving in the country.” (Jim Garamone, “Joint Chiefs Chairman Notes Improvement in Afghanistan,” American Forces Press Service, 12 August 2004)


“Visiting Afghanistan in May, [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld said the US had moved from major combat operations to stabilisation and reconstruction. Each time he has visited the country he has insisted that security is improving.” (“Rumsfeld presses for wider Nato action in Afghanistan,” The Guardian, 8 September 2003)

World Economic Forum photo, Creative Commons license 2.0

Tags: Afghanistan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, BGen Eric Tremblay, Brigadier General Douglas Pritt, Brigadier General Joseph Votel, Christopher Alexander, Donald Rumsfeld, Fogh of war, General Richard Myers, General Rick Hillier, Happy talk, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Lt. Gen. David Barno, NATO, Taliban