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Progress In Afghanistan

Afghan guards of honor during the transfer of authority in Bazarak, Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan security forces took over the security responsibilities of Panjshir province from the the NATO led Internationals Security Assistanc

"The Afghan government and security forces continue to grow in capability and confidence."

In December 2009, President Obama stated that one of the goals of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan is to strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan’s security forces.

In Eastern Afghanistan, U.S. forces work in full partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces to improve their capabilities, and those of the Afghan government, and to gain the confidence of the people they serve, said Commanding officer of Regional Command East, Major General Daniel Allyn.

The unit's main effort is to work with Afghan security forces until they are able to take full responsibility for security in their area of operation, and to create the conditions necessary for better security, governance and economic development, for the benefit of some 7 and a half million people who live there, said General Allyn:

"The Afghan government and security forces in our area continue to grow in capability and confidence, allowing us to build upon security conditions and deliver essential services to the people of Afghanistan. . . We have kept the pressure on insurgent networks, cleared several support zones and, in the process, strengthened the leadership and capability of our Afghan partners."

However, one of the results of "pressure on the insurgent networks is the ruthless, desperate and inexplicable actions of insurgents against the people of Afghanistan," said General Allyn. "Their blatant disregard for the Afghan people manifests itself in suicide attacks that predominantly target innocent civilians, and ill-disciplined direct and indirect fire attacks that brutalize population centers:"

"Eighty-five to 90 percent of Afghan civilian casualties are caused by insurgent violence. As a result, more and more communities are becoming inhospitable to insurgent influence and cohabitation. And we see increased cooperation between the Afghan people, the local government and the security forces who serve them."

"During the first round of transition to Afghan security force and governance control, we had two provinces and one capital district begin the transition process, and in each area, progress and development continue," said General Allyn.

"While much work remains to be done, we are witnesses to the Afghan security force and government institutions strengthening their capacity and effectiveness.

"We will continue to press forward with our Afghan partners to achieve a stable and secure future for the people of Afghanistan."