Modest US gains against Taliban

Many Afghans believe that the US will head for an exit, just as the former Soviet army did.

    It has been two years since Barack Obama took over the US presidency and during his term so far, the war in Afghanistan has stayed at the top of his foreign policy agenda.

    But many have questioned whether his strategy of transferring power to Afghan policy and the army is working in the face of only modest US gains against the Taliban.

    Al Jazeera's Sue Turton went out on patrol with one local commander who says that he is gaining ground against the Taliban.

    But our correspondent reported that the people in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, did not seem to think that it would be good for the Taliban to be beaten, and they talk about the Taliban as "the boys from their land".

    "They talked very widely about how they liked the security that the Taliban had brought. As at the moment, when the Taliban are not around, the thieves are running riot," Turton said.

    "They didn't feel that the current administration had a strong rule of law."

    However at a national level, the feeling is that "the US president shot himself in the foot when he put the date of withdrawal at 2014".

    "Now they have reined back on that date since then, saying that the transition to Afghan security will not actually happen unless conditions were good."

    Meanwhile, many in Afghanistan believe US troops are going to head for an exit in the same way the former Soviet army did, she said.

    "They (Obama and Afghan president Hamid Karzai) certainly put on a united front when they are in public together but behind the scenes [Al Jazeera has] been told that their relationship is actually very fractured." 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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