Petraeus: Time is key for progress in Afghanistan war

WASHINGTON — Progress in Afghanistan only began this spring and needs time to take root, US Army Gen. David Petraeus said in comments broadcast Sunday that were aimed at shoring up American support for the Afghanistan war.
Petraeus, who's been credited with a successful war strategy in Iraq and who took charge of US and NATO military operations in Afghanistan in July, described an "up and down process" of seizing Taliban-controlled territory and creating "small pockets of progress" that he hoped will expand.
The goal, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press," is to keep al-Qaida and other extremist groups at bay while the Afghan government has a chance to take control and earn the trust of the local population.
"We're here so that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al-Qaida planned the 9/11 attacks in the Kandahar area," Petraeus said in an interview taped in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
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