(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- The outgoing commander of the Kandahar offensive says he’s seen “encouraging signs” of progress in Kandahar province, but he cautions it might take until next June to fully determine if they’re enduring given the seasonal and cyclical nature of things in Afghanistan -- namely crop harvests and tree cover for fighters.
Maj. Gen. Nick Carter oversaw the Marjah and Kandahar offensives and he noted to Pentagon reporters how both operations differed in that Marjah was a classic military offensive whereas Kandahar was more complex because it required bringing order and governance to the city right off the bat and then pushing outward to the belts of Arghandab, Zharay and Panjway.
The operation in Kandahar began by partnering local police with U.S. military police, a novelty for a police force that has never had any control. In fact, Carter said there is a lack of proper organization in the city because nothing is registered with local authorities. As for security, he likened it to Moscow of the 1990s where protection rackets ruled the day.
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