Washington, Oct. 28 (ANI): The United States has said it will take all steps to protect population centers in Afghanistan.
At present, there are about ten top population centers.
President Barack Obama, however, is to decide how much of Afghanistan should fall under the direct protection of American and NATO forces.
At the moment, the Obama administration is looking to protect Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Herat, Jalalabad and a few other village clusters, the New York Times quoted officials, as saying.
The first of any new troops sent to Afghanistan would be assigned to Kandahar, the Taliban's spiritual capital, seen as a center of gravity in pushing back insurgent advances.
Military planners are also pressing for enough troops to safeguard major agricultural areas, like the hotly contested Helmand River valley, as well as regional highways essential to the economy.
Administration and military officials said the strategy would include other elements, like accelerated training of Afghan troops, expanded economic development and reconciliation with less radical members of the Taliban.
Military officers said that they would maintain pressure on insurgents in remote regions by using surveillance drones and reports from people in the field to find pockets of Taliban fighters and to guide attacks, in particular by Special Operations forces.
At the heart of this strategy is the conclusion that the United States cannot completely eradicate the insurgency in a nation where the Taliban is an indigenous force - nor does it need to in order to protect American national security. (ANI)