Petraeus describes progress in Afghanistan as “fragile and reversible”

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Top Commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus told members of the Senate
Armed Services Committee  Tuesday that progress in Afghanistan is “fragile
and reversible.”

He said he expects the Taliban insurgency to increase its fighting in the<br>Spring and Summer even as the coalition has made significant progress.

Over the past 8 months since Petraeus has taken command he said  the
insurgencies  momentum on the battlefield has been halted in strongholds in
the volatile southern province of Kandahar, western province in Helmand and
Northern provinces where Taliban insurgents and al Qaeda had once again
found safe havens after being driven out in 2001.

“The momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been
arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important
areas,” Petraeus said.

Pentagon top civilian policy official Michele Flournoy, testified alongside
Petreaus, said “US  strategy is working.”

However, she told congressional officials that she is also concerned about
ensuring that US tax dollars don't fall into the hands of criminal elements,
which also can jeopardize progress.

Petraeus also warned Senators that Congress needs to provide the adequate
funding to State Department and the U.S. Agency for International
Development to provide economic development in order to  substantially
improve civilian government assistance.

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