Pentagon: Next 18 Months Key To Afghan Victory

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Pentagon's top leaders say that the next year to 18 months will be key in determining if the war in Afghanistan is being won.

Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen said they're more optimistic now than in recent months about efforts to combat insurgents and extremists along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

But Mullen also told a Senate Appropriations panel that the next 12 to 18 months "will really tell the tale." Gates said the violence began to spiral in 2006 when Pakistan started negotiating peace agreements with extremist and insurgent groups.

He said that freed the Taliban to come across the border, and back into Afghanistan.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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