Security progress in Afghanistan risks being undermined by the Afghan government’s failure to develop rapidly enough and tackle corruption and by shortfalls in the NATO-led coalition’s training mission, the Pentagon said.
Last year’s addition of 30,000 troops from the U.S. and 10,000 more from other coalition nations cut the Taliban’s strength and further eroded support for the insurgents among the Afghan public, according to a Defense Department report released today.
The number of districts with Afghan Local Police units increased to 34 from eight in September, the department said in a report covering the six months ended March 31. The number of suicide attacks fell slightly during the period to 45 from 51 a year earlier.
Still, “significant political challenges” for the Afghan government “could potentially threaten the progress made in the last six months,” the department said in the report to Congress. The training mission also is still short of the coalition expertise it needs to nurture the Afghan army and police, the report said.
“The months ahead will see setbacks as well as successes,” the Pentagon said. “There will be difficult fighting and tough losses as the enemy tries to regain momentum and key areas lost in the past six months.”
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