Despite a particularly deadly day for foreign forces in Afghanistan, the US and NATO commander there says the tide is turning against the Taliban.
Five members of the NATO-led military force were killed in violence on Monday. But General Stanley McChrystal says a troop build-up is paying off.
“I believe that we have changed the way we operate in Afghanistan,” he told US television.
“We changed some of our structures and I believe we are on the way to convincing the Afghan people that we are here to protect them.”
A new national opinion poll indicates most Afghans are confident about their country’s future. But General McChrystal is warning the mission is not over yet:
“I think Americans and all our coalition partners need to understand that this will be difficult. I won’t predict casualty numbers but I do believe that there will be a difficult struggle with the insurgency in the months ahead.”
US President Barack Obama is deploying 30,000 extra troops as part of his new war strategy. Other NATO countries are sending thousands more, although some are scaling down their presence in Afghanistan.