January 13th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Military chief: U.S. gaining, but hard road ahead

America's top military officer painted an upbeat picture Wednesday of progress in Afghanistan. But the Joint Chiefs chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, cautioned that recent successes are fragile and future advances will be costly.

"The enemy is being pushed out of population centers. He's being denied sanctuary. And he's losing leaders by the score," Mullen said Wednesday.

But he told reporters that the U.S. and allies must press ahead and redouble their efforts. The United States added 30,000 troops in 2010.

"We know the gains we have made are tenuous and fragile and can be lost," Mullen said. "We know the enemy is resilient. And we know that things are likely to get harder before they get any easier."

Mullen said his firsthand look during visits to Kandahar and Helmand provinces convinced him that the local population is rejecting what he called Taliban scare-tactics.

"Those very citizens are taking back their own towns and villages, building schools and roads, harvesting alternative crops, and in general contributing to a growing sense of safety in parts of the south," he said.

The next phase, pushing into areas controlled by Taliban fighters, will be difficult.

"We must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months," Mullen said. "The violence will be worse in 2011 than it was in 2010 in many parts of Afghanistan."

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Filed under: Helmand • Kandahar • Troops
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. rehan

    as longer they are killimg others why not they will also losing their live one day this is the lagacy

    May 12, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. rltj

    Where is America and NATO in there?

    February 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rltj

    Winning battles and capturing territories nowhere from winning a war.

    Guerrilla warfare is not about defending positions. It is about building a mass base, building the armed forces, make hell for the occupying enemy troops deep in there in the meantime or until victory is achieved.

    The mainstay of a guerrilla war is the mass base. A mass that is supportive [from sympathy to active support by civilian populace] for the cause.

    February 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dindy..

    Pakistan is the best heaven for crooks if you say USA is heaven for crooks

    January 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dindy..

    jANUARY 15TH 5.01POST IS NOT MINE.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. legacy

    JANUARY 15TH 5;09AM Post is not mine.Also January 15th 5:09am. Worthless iDIOT WRITING THEM.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dindy.....

    US gaining ..BUT HARD ROAD AHEAD..........Nothing is hard....when walk with the guidance of the Holy spirit.

    January 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dindy.....

    January 15th Posts are not mine.

    January 15, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dindy.....

    MAY God help all of us to live in peace !!!

    January 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

    This is the kind of news that would make even Polyanna want to cry. Is this creep Mullen trying to throw us into a severe depression? I guess that means that we'll never get out of there! Another blow to Islam!!!

    January 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willie 12345

      Don't feel bad,Bubba. These bozos wre saying the same thing about Vietnam for years on end. There's still hope. Let's just hope he's wrong.

      January 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • dindy Sri lanka

        I'm hoping for the same thing,Willie.

        January 15, 2011 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. BANGASH

    Please no more deception of innocent Americans as they see each passing years adding to the death toll of their loved one and this year has taken more bloody start. This death game is in no way in US INTERESTS and is responsible for human catastrophe in this new millinium. This is senseless war wherein all are losers, no winner then where is our human wisdom and why we are on the way to a miserable end in this beautiful world which God has blessed with all what we need for our comforts and welfare. American dollars and weapons are main fuel for this fire which if diverted towards welfare of American public it will surely relieve whole world of this inhuman situation.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Good post,BANGASH. Thank you.

      January 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Change

      What is the deception? Isn't it pretty clear...root out corruption, limit abuse of women, permit freedom of religion, free speech without getting stoned and on and on. LET FREEDOM RING! That is what America stands for not deception. We will spend any amount of resource (human or currency) to rid the world of a few that control the masses with a heavy hand. So NO the easy wrong is not always right!

      January 14, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
      • dindy Sri lanka

        Come on Change,you know better that that!!! Or are you Phunnie boy posting more of your stupid jokes under Change's name?

        January 15, 2011 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |