A senior U.S. general goes off message in a warning about America’s forgotten war.
Maj. Gen. Eric Olson told The Associated Press he was concerned that policy-makers will seize on a recent drop in Taliban and al-Qaida attacks to cut the 17,000-strong U.S. force here to ease the pressure on American forces stretched by their deployment in Iraq.
“If there is no real spring offensive (by the Taliban), I think there may be pressure on the international community to draw down force levels and I think that would be a big mistake,” said Olson, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
“I think there’s still an insurgency to win here, and I think the Afghan central government is at this point very much dependent on the support of the coalition,” he said.
In a fresh reminder of the country’s insecurity, suspected Taliban insurgents launched three separate attacks in southeastern Afghanistan on Thursday, reportedly killing nine Afghan troops and wounding an American soldier while suffering heavy casualties themselves.