Petraeus rules out any 'swift turnaround' in Afghan war

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Washington, June 30 (ANI): While admitting that the progress on the nine year old 'war on terror' in Afghanistan has been slower than expected, General David Petraeus, the newly appointed US commander in Afghanistan, has ruled out any 'swift turnaround' in the struggle.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee General Petraeus warned that the struggle would get more intense in the coming few months.

"My sense is that the tough fighting will continue. Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months," Petraeus told the committee.

He said that the surge of nearly 30, 000 troops has started to show its effect as the Taliban has now begun to feel the pressure.

Petraeus, however, cautioned that the Taliban was offering a stiff resistance and the insurgents were confident that they could "outlast the coalition's will to fight".

The general also promised to review rules limiting the use of force by the allied troops, and said he was well aware of soldiers' complaints over the restrictions.

Former commander General Stanley McChrystal had limited use of air strikes, artillery and mortar fire to prevent civilian casualties, which Petraeus also endorsed.

"However, it was crucial to ensure the rules are carried out without undue bureaucracy and that coalition and Afghan troops could defend themselves," The Daily Times quoted Petraeus, as saying.

He also highlighted that training and guiding the Afghan forces to enable them to take over from the US and NATO forces after they pull out was a daunting task.

"It is like building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed and while it is being shot at," Petraeus said. (ANI)

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