The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Friday he is confident that the tough fight in Afghanistan is headed in the right direction and he backs the president's peace moves.
"No one should have any illusions about how difficult the fight will continue to be as we and our Afghan partners strive to bring peace to a nation that has suffered through more than 30 years of continuous war," Petraeus said in a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute.
"Still, I believe that we now have the right strategy in place." FULL POST
The insurgency in Afghanistan is gaining strength and new recruits in areas where the Taliban has not previously been prominent, according to a new report from the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) in Kabul.
In the third quarter of this year, it says, armed attacks by insurgents were 59 percent higher than in the same period of 2009.
The gloomy assessment of the security situation says some districts in northern provinces are in danger of slipping beyond control, and it describes efforts to form local militias in opposition to the Taliban as "clumsy."