Afghanistan security situation may worsen: US military chief

October 10th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanWashington, Oct 10 (DPA) The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in Afghanistan, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said the situation in the country will worsen, according to reports Friday.In light of the poor economic situation and an intensifying Taliban insurgency, he told US media: “I would anticipate next year would be a tougher year.”

“The overall development is not going in the right direction,” he said, according to the New York Times.

Mullen also singled out the booming heroin smuggling in Afghanistan, as well as the opposition by tribal leaders against the central government in Kabul. There were indications, he said, that the status and trends on the two issues “are going to continue”.

On Thursday, a confidential US intelligent report emerged which painted an extremely gloomy picture of the situation in Afghanistan, a country in a “downward spiral”.

It cast serious doubts on the ability of the Afghan government to curb the growing influence of the Taliban.

Increased cooperation between Al Qaeda militants and the Taliban and an expanding network of militant groups, made the situation extremely complicated, the study said.

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