Momentum in Afghanistan is with Taliban: US

May 26th, 2009 - 6:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, May 26 (ANI): Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said the momentum in Afghanistan is with the Taliban, who are inflicting heavy American casualties and hold de facto control of parts of the country.

Gates further said American public support for the Afghan war would dissipate in less than a year unless the Obama Administration achieves “a perceptible shift in momentum.”

The Wall Street Journal quoted Gates as saying that the Obama Administration is rapidly running out of time to turn around the war.

“People are willing to stay in the fight, I believe, if they think we’re making headway. If they think we’re stalemated and having our young men and women get killed, then patience is going to run out pretty fast,” he added.

Gates, who was also Defenec Secretary during Bush’s Administration, waded into the debate over the Guantanamo Bay prison and Bush-era anti terror tactics.

He said critics of the Obama Administration’s plans to close Guantanamo and move some prisoners to the US were guilty of fear mongering.

Gates said government interrogators should be limited to the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual and barred from using harsher methods.

Gates also said Iran was harming US interests in Afghanistan by sending weapons to the Taliban and other armed groups.

He expressed particular concern that Tehran might step up its shipments of explosively formed penetrators, powerful roadside bombs capable of punching through even the strongest armour. (ANI)

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