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Afghanistan situation has fundamentally changed: The South Asia Strategy has fundamentally changed the situation in Afghanistan, and the Resolute Support mission commander believes it may provide the key for reconciliation and peace in the country.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said the military parts of President Donald J. Trump’s strategy are now in place and are already making a difference. The general spoke to reporters traveling with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The strategy calls for more military advisors working with lower-echelon units, Nicholson said. It also calls for more enablers, including additional air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

AFGHANS ON THE OFFENSIVE

The strategy is helping because the main effort in the U.S. Central Command area of operations has shifted from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, Nicholson said. These additional capabilities “will enable the Afghans to get on the offensive,” the general told reporters.

This is already happening, and Nicholson highlighted a successful operation by the Afghan 201st Corps in the eastern part of the country. “That is one of dozens of offensive operations that is going to occur,” he said. “We will do these operations simultaneously around the country through the summer leading up to the elections.”

The Afghan forces will be able to do this because of the support provided by the train, advise and assist effort by NATO and the addition of the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade and other trainers. “We couldn’t do this in the past because we didn’t have adequate levels of resources here,” Nicholson said.

In December 2016, Nicholson was still sending troops home. “We were going into 2017 at the lowest level of forces we had ever been at in Afghanistan,” he said. The South Asia strategy has changed the situation, he added. Read more

Read also: National Referral Mechanism Annual Summary 2017

Afghanistan situation has fundamentally changed: The South Asia Strategy has fundamentally changed the situation in Afghanistan, and the Resolute Support mission commander believes it may provide the key for reconciliation and peace in the country.