Defense secretary sees progress in Afghanistan

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2009 8:03 AM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is seeing signs of progress in the war in Afghanistan days after President Barack Obama announced a planned surge of 30,000 additional troops.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Gates says an offensive by U.S. Marines in Helmand province in the Taliban stronghold of southern Afghanistan is going well and that the Marines have already begun to see changes there.

According to Gates, military leaders are pretty confident that circumstances in the south are headed in the right direction.

Most of the 30,000 U.S. reinforcements will be deployed in Helmand. Afghanistan's defense force has been quietly planning its own troop buildup to break the Taliban's tightening grip on portions of the nation.