No spring offensive for Taliban, says U.S. commander
The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Wednesday he does not expect Taliban forces in Afghanistan to launch a spring offensive this year.
Adm. William Fallon told the U.S. House armed services committee he believes the momentum will continue to swing in the direction of NATO-led coalition forces in the beleaguered country.
Fallon said he expects coalition forces to carry out their own spring offensive as they move to take advantage of improved security.
"The spring offensive is going to be by our people as they move out and take advantage of the situation that they helped create through their good works there in the fall of last year," he said.
Overall, Fallon said that while the situation in Afghanistan is not ideal, recent improvements have been encouraging.
He told the committee on Tuesday that the Taliban's ability to attack has been degraded and that a rise in suicide attacks is confined to about 10 per cent of the districts.
The U.S. is sending 3,200 more marines to Afghanistan, in part to stave off any spike in violence that might come with the warmer weather.
Roughly 2,500 Canadians are serving in the violent southern Kandahar region. Seventy-nine soldiers and one diplomat have died since the mission started in 2002.