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US general: Taliban likely to be long-term threat

April 7, 2013 • World News


This image made from AP video shows Afghan National Army soldiers rushing to the scene moments after a car bomb exploded in front the PRT, Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Qalat, Zabul province, southern Afghanistan, Saturday, April 6, 2013. Six American troops and civilians and an Afghan doctor were killed in attacks on Saturday in southern and eastern Afghanistan as the U.S. military’s top officer began a weekend visit to the country, officials said. (AP Photo via AP video)

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — The United States accepts that a diminished but resilient Taliban is likely to remain a military threat in some parts of Afghanistan long after U.S. troops complete their combat mission next year, the top U.S. military officer said Sunday.

In an Associated Press interview at this air field north of Kabul, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is cautiously optimistic that the Afghan army will hold its own against the insurgency as Western troops pull back and Afghans assume the lead combat role. He said that by May or June, the Afghans will be in the lead throughout the country.

Asked whether some parts of the country will remain contested by the Taliban, he replied, “Yes, of course there will be.”

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