General Joseph Votel claimed militant attacks in eastern regions of Aghanistan have been sharply reduced over the past year. He credited aggressive miltary operations, outreach programs to tribal leaders, and a more effective Afghan fighting force as principle reasons for the improvement. However, General Votel also noted: “I think if there’s going to be an offensive in the spring–the offensive is going to be ours.” There have been 36 attacks so far this month which is a 35% reduction from the same period last year. He credited the high number of militant leaders killed with reducing militant efforts in the eastern area of Afghanistan.
During the past few weeks there have been additional examples of militants placing themselves in a village and engaging opponents in fighting. This invariably results in civilian casualties which people frequently blame on NATO and government forces or the United States Army. Afghan authorities have pleaded with international forces to cooerindate closely with their Afghan counterparts to prevent such civilian casualties.
There has been an active Pakistan Army offensive launched against militants in its northwest region and one can wonder if that has impacted Taliban forces in eastern Afghanstan.