NATO: Afghan Insurgency Is Contained

NATO: Afghan Insurgency Is Contained
February 4th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: NATO: Afghan Insurgency Is Contained

NATO: Afghan Insurgency Is Contained
February 4, 2008 By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan -- More than six years since the Taliban were ousted from power in Afghanistan, the militant movement is being "contained," with some 70 percent of violence last year occurring in just 10 percent of the country, NATO said.
The upbeat assessment Sunday contrasted reports that a resurgent Taliban are challenging the U.S. and its allies. It also comes as several of NATO's European members are refusing to send soldiers to Afghanistan's south, the scene of most of the fighting, opening a rift with the U.S. and others that have borne the brunt.
Three-quarters of Afghanistan suffered just one violent incident per week last year, Lt. Col. Claudia Foss, a spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force told a press conference in Kabul.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that the insurgent movement is being contained," Foss said.
More than 6,500 people _ mostly insurgents _ died in violence in 2007, according to an Associated Press count of figures provided by local and international officials. It was the bloodiest year since the U.S.-led toppling of the Taliban in 2001.
An independent study co-chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering warned last week that Afghanistan risks becoming a failed state because of deteriorating international support and the growing insurgency.
On Sunday, a British Cabinet minister called on allies to send troops to the south.
"We have made clear to our NATO partners that we do want to see appropriate burden sharing, not just in the number of troops on the ground but where those troops are committed within Afghanistan," Douglas Alexander, British International Development Secretary, told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Germany in particular has been resisting pressure to deploy troops to the south. Germany insists its parliamentary mandate is for its 3,500 soldiers to serve along the northern border, only helping out in the south for a limited period.
Canada, meanwhile, is threatening not to extend its military mission in Afghanistan after 2009 unless another NATO country sends more soldiers to the south. Canada maintains 2,500 troops in Kandahar province. It has lost 78 soldiers and one diplomat since joining the U.S.-led mission.
The U.S. contributes one-third of NATO's 42,000-member International Security Assistance Force mission, making it the largest participant. The U.S. has an additional 12,000 to 13,000 troops there involved in counterterrorism operations.

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