`Taliban grew stronger since 2010 US troop surge`

A report by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike Rogers has challenged Barack Obama`s evaluation.

Washington: The Taliban has grown stronger since President Barack Obama sent 33,000 more US troops to Afghanistan in 2010, according to Senate intelligence leaders.

A report by Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and Representative Mike Rogers, Republican, has challenged Obama`s evaluation during his visit to Kabul that America has broken the Taliban`s momentum.

Feinstein said: "I think we`d both say that what we`ve found is that the Taliban is stronger."

Feinstein and Rogers had recently gone for a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan where they met President Hamid Karzai.

"President Karzai believes that the Taliban will not come back. I`m not so sure," adding, "The Taliban has a shadow system of governors in many provinces," News 24 quoted Feinstein as saying.

They said that a recent defence policy bill would withhold about 60 percent of military aid to Pakistan if the Defence Secretary could not prove that the money would be used in fighting the Taliban and ensuring that Pakistan would help to counter roadside bombs.

Both Rogers and Feinstein said the United States should designate the Haqqani network, an Afghan insurgent group believed to be based in Pakistan, as a terrorist organisation.

They said that the USA should take aggressive steps to disrupt their operations.

Rogers said that the group was responsible for almost 500 US deaths and continued to operate outposts along the Afghan-Pakistani border.


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