The US-led war in Afghanistan has now entered its tenth year – and even after all this time, its still not clear how the conflict will turn out.
With more soldiers on the ground, this is the pivotal point to determine whether Obama’s troop surge has worked – and reversed the Taliban’s momentum.
NATO insists its operation is not being hurt by current Pakistani intransigence. NATO’s three-pronged plan aims at removing the Taliban from their strongholds, protecting civilians and setting up a functioning government.
The aim is to win over Afghan loyalty – but for some, it is too late:
“The overall assessment shows that NATO has been unable to defeat the Taliban. Instead, they have regrouped and expanded their territory, intensifying attacks against NATO and the government.” said Afghan political analyst Haroon Mir.
Western-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai is starting to prepare for eventual troop withdrawal.
Today is the first meeting of his National Peace Council, aimed at making contact with militants interested in reconciliation.