“In any type of operation like this, we have to put the Afghan people at the center of gravity,” U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis said in an exclusive interview with VOA. “If we take care of the Afghan people, the Taliban will fail."
Stavridis, who took command of NATO forces in June, said understanding the Afghan people is key to his strategic view. Intelligence efforts need to be geared to learning as much as possible about how the Afghans live and what they want.
Moreover, the Afghan government needs to continue to fight corruption and improve services for the people, said Stavridis, whose NATO command includes most of the U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan.
Stavridis told VOA that when President Obama reviews his Afghanistan strategy, which includes a surge of more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops, there should be several measures of success.<!-- IMAGE -->
“I would look for polling data that continues to show significant support for the coalition and very small support for the Taliban,” he said. “Second, I would look for the numbers of Afghan security forces. Thirdly, I would look at the quality of the operations conducted by the Afghan security forces.”
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