The State of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan

An Interview with Col. William Maxwell, Director, Combined Joint Operations Center in Kabul

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spc. Jason Curtis, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, pulls security while leaders of a medical civil action project searched for a suitable site in Parun, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/flickr)

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. David Petraeus on Wednesday defended President Obama's plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July of 2011. Gen. Petraeus faced tough questions from lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who worry that Afghanistan will view our drawdown as abandonment. "We are sounding an uncertain trumpet to our friends and to our enemies. They believe we are leaving as of July 2011," McCain said.

Even as debate over the drawdown rages in Washington, there are ominous signs emerging from Afghanistan: American troop deaths have sharply ticked up, with 30 killed already in the month of June. The planned offensive in the Taliban birthplace, Kandahar, has been delayed. And reports suggest that U.S. gains in Marjah are unravelling.

Colonel William Maxwell, U.S. Marine Corps, Director of the Combined Joint Operations Center in Kabul talks about whether the military is on track in Kandahar and why there's a delay in securing the region. "Progress is inevitable, but it will be slow and delibearate and must be a team effort," he says. "This is something that just doesn't happen over night. We're working closely with the Afghans, we're working closely with their military and their police... We're pushing and making sure that the Afghans have the capacity to solve this problem."

Guests:

Colonel William Maxwell

Produced by:

Noel King

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