Transcript: Gen. John Allen’s remarks on green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan
Edited by Jenny Jiang
* Press briefing held on Aug. 23, 2012
Transcript of remarks* by Gen. John Allen, Commander of ISAF and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, on green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan:
“Now before I take your questions, I’d like to make some brief opening remarks.
“It’s been a busy summer for us and in ways not readily evident to most outside of Afghanistan. It’s been a highly successful summer. Coalition and Afghan forces have maintained unrelenting pressure on the insurgents. We have denied and disrupted their operations and have largely pushed them out of the population centers. We’ve limited their freedom of movement and we’ve interdicted their logistics. We’ve taken scores of their leaders and fighters off the battlefield. And we’ve systematically separated off the insurgents from more and more of the Afghan population.
“Insurgent attacks, while still indiscriminate and deadly, are increasingly localized, affecting an ever shrinking proportion of the Afghan population.
“The insurgency we face today – while still active, dangerous and capable of inflicting harm – is trying hard to project its strength as its position continues to slowly erode.
“We have achieved this success while continuing to move the Afghan National Security Forces into the lead. Partnered operations have increasingly been led by Afghan forces. And the insurgency is today confronted by a rapidly transforming and increasingly capable ANSF, which is bearing a larger share of the burden – the larger share of the sacrifice.
“As we continue to mourn our own precious and honored dead, we recognize that our Afghan partners are now suffering the preponderance of the friendly casualties. Their resilience, reinforced by the commitment of the international community to stand by Afghanistan well after 2014, have sent a powerful and a disheartening signal to the insurgents. For the insurgents to prevail, they will have to keep up their increasingly costly fight for at least another decade.
“To be sure, we have a significant amount of work yet to do, and some of that work will be deadly. With 28 months left in the ISAF mission, we’re forging ahead with the process of transition. Ultimately our goal will not only be achieved by that which will be secured by ISAF forces but primarily our goal will be achieved by Afghan forces. And as the Afghans assume full responsibility for the security of their country, our support will continue.
“This campaign is a continuum. Through the end of 2014 and beyond we’re creating a series of conditions that will ultimately leave Afghanistan a sovereign state secured by a capable Afghan military and afforded the time and the space to develop its institutions of governance.
“We aim to leave behind a stable Afghanistan – a contributor to the stability and prosperity of the region and never again a safe haven for terrorists. That remains our objective and we’re on track to achieve it.
“I know you’ll have questions about insider attacks. We’re working that issue very hard with our Afghan partners and it is a top priority for me. In this space and in this time, we’re conducting a complex campaign but we’re also dealing with these so-called green-on-blue attacks. We will continue to achieve success in this campaign but we will deal with these threats as well.
“So the campaign is far from over, and the solution to this problem of green-on-blue will be found by the growing strength – everyday – of the green and the blue.”