General disputes senators' claim that Taliban is stronger
Former Taliban fighters display their weapons as they join Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province on April 26, 2012. Ten fighters left the Taliban to join government forces in western Afghanistan.
May 9th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

General disputes senators' claim that Taliban is stronger

By Jennifer Rizzo

A top coalition official on Wednesday disputed lawmakers' assertions that the Taliban are increasing their strength in Afghanistan.

"I'm afraid for the Taliban the evidence is rather different," said British army Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, in a briefing with reporters from Kabul.

The Taliban's ability to deliver attacks in Afghanistan was reduced by almost 10% in 2011, said Bradshaw, adding that the NATO-led force is seeing a similar trend early this year.

"We get reporting, reliable reporting of Taliban commanders, feeling under pressure with lack of weapons and equipment, with lack of finance," he said.

In a CNN interview Sunday, the heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees said the Taliban were gaining ground, just days after President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan and touted progress in the war on terror.

"I think we'd both say that what we found is that the Taliban is stronger," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who appeared with Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, on CNN's "State of the Union."

Rogers had said earlier that during his recent trip to Afghanistan he met with military and intelligence officials, who believed the Taliban were significantly stronger than a few years ago.

Bradshaw did not discount the challenge the Taliban poses, saying, "They're still a force to be reckoned with," but he said reporting from the NATO-led force shows the Taliban's capability has been reduced.

"I would say we have clear evidence that the momentum has been reversed," Bradshaw said. "So I think that the line taken by the congressmen is actually contrary to everything that we're seeing on our reporting."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Taliban
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. shraeve

    The politicians are trying to please whatever special interest groups are lobbying them. The British general is the one who is actually there in the combat zone. He should know.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  2. Everett Wallace

    Listen to the Generals they know.

    May 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply

    THE MILITARY DOES WHAT THERE TOLD ! let the blame fall where it should , and thats at the obama scramble camp of boy scouts .

    May 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  4. Captain Willard

    I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

    May 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply

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