Top US general takes tour to Afghanistan

The new commander of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Kabul Tuesday to assess efforts against insurgents, the US military said.

AFP

New commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, ... 
New commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, General David Petraeus (R) is pictured on November 3, 2008. The new commander of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Kabul Tuesday to assess efforts against insurgents, the US military said.(AFP/File/Aamir Qureshi)

He would be meeting various leaders in Afghanistan, US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told AFP, refusing to give details.

“It is traditional for a new commander to go out and meet with subordinate commanders and meet with the leaders of the various countries in the area of his responsibility and get his own assessment of the situation,” he said.

Petraeus would be in Afghanistan for several days, Julian said.

Many hope Petraeus will bring his counter-insurgency expertise to bear in Afghanistan, which has seen a spike in violence from a resurgent Taliban in the last two years, despite the presence of 70,000 NATO and US troops.

The Taliban government was removed in a US-led invasion for not surrendering Al-Qaeda leaders after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Afghanistan and its international partners have been calling for the US-led “war on terror” to put more focus on tribal areas of Pakistan where Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other militants have bases.

In Islamabad Monday, defence officials said they had warned Petraeus that US missile strikes inside Pakistan territory could spark a violent backlash and severely hamper efforts to curb extremism.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081104/pl_afp/afghanistan
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