The new permissions available thanks to the South Asia strategy mean the campaign is on the “path to a win,” the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan told Pentagon reporters today.
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson emphasized that the strategy is strictly conditions-based, not time-based.
“We will be here until the job is done,” the general said. “The U.S. approach aligns with the NATO approach. … War is a contest of wills. The president has left no doubt in terms of our will to win.”
The US is using military pressure, diplomatic pressure and social pressure.
Afghan security forces will apply the military pressure, the general told reporters, aided by coalition advisors and air assets. That pressure will increase in the next year as new Afghan capabilities come on line and as U.S. and coalition advisers embed with smaller units.
Afghan and coalition officials will apply diplomatic pressure on the enablers of the Taliban and the Haqqani networks.
Social pressure will be applied through elections over the next two years.
Striking Taliban Revenue Stream
Operations under the new permissions have already begun, as Afghan and coalition forces struck the source of the Taliban’s finances: the narcotics trade.