US expects Afghan violence to rise

Senior general says military situation to get worse before getting better.

    Petraeus is the latest US official to go before congress to promote Obama's Afghan war strategy [AFP]

    "Indeed, the level of violence and number of violent civilian deaths in Iraq were vastly higher than we have seen in Afghanistan," Petraeus said.

    'Slower progress'

    But Petraeus said that advances in Afghanistan are likely to be slower than they were in Iraq.

    in depth

      General Stanley McChrystal talks to Riz Khan
      McChrystal: 'Taliban will lose war'
      Afghan army 'in need of US funds'
      Admiral Mike Mullen on Afghan plan
      Obama's Afghan strategy speech
      Framing Obama's Afghanistan mess

    "Achieving progress in Afghanistan will be hard and the progress there likely will be slower in developing than was the progress achieved in Iraq," he said.

    However, he added the announcement by Barack Obama, the US president, last week that he would send an additional 30,000 US troops "will over the next 18 months enable us to make important progress".

    Petraeus is the latest US official to go before congress to promote Obama's war strategy.

    Al Jazeera's John Terrett, reporting from Washington DC, said: "Apart from the issue of the 30,000 troops going into Afghanistan, the other key issue that the US congress is obsessing over is corruption within Afghanistan.

    "It is really becoming a lot clearer that this is a much more difficult operation that may have been at first thought and is likely to last longer than that magic date of July 2011."

    All of the additional US forces are expected to be deployed by the summer or autumn, aiming to reverse Taliban momentum and allow for a gradual US withdrawal starting in July 2011, according to Obama's plan.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?