Taliban attacks not down in Afghanistan: coalition officials
By Sayed Jawad - 27 Feb 2013, 11:53 am
The officials acknolwedged a hole in its widely repeated argument that violence is easing and that the insurgency is in steep decline.
The coalition in Kabul in response to Associated Press inquiries said it had erred in reporting a 7 percent decline in attacks.In fact there was no decline at all, officials said.
In the meantime George Little spokseman for defense secretary Leon Panetta said it was distrubing the learn the error as Panetta was among the senior officials who had publicly repeated the assertion of an encouraging drop-off in Taliban attacks in 2012.
Little said, “This particular set of metrics doesn’t tell the full story of progress against the Taliban, of course, but it’s unhelpful to have inaccurate information in our systems.”
Another coalition spokesman Jamie Graybeal said the problem does not change officials’ basic assessment of the war, which they say is on a positive track as American and allied forces withdraw.
In January, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan boasted a roughly seven per cent drop in attacks by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in 2012.
A reduced threat from Taliban forces and the ability of the local Afghan forces to take over has been cited as one of the main reasons for withdrawing American combat troops from the country in December 2014.