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Petraeus: 'We're doing everything we can to achieve progress'

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On the work of Special Operations forces to kill or capture Taliban leaders:

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The sheer pace of these is just staggering. In a three-month period, there were nearly 3,000 operations -- more than 350 insurgent leaders either killed or captured. Some 2,500 rank and file killed or captured. Some of those same Special Operations forces treated 12,000 Afghans in medical outreach during that time. Clearly, targeted operations are very important.

[Petraeus's spokesman later provided a more detailed breakdown: Almost 2,900 Special Operations forces operations were conducted over a 90-day period ending Aug. 8, 2010. Those resulted in: 365 insurgent leaders killed or captured; 1,355 rank-and-file insurgents captured; 1,031 insurgents killed; and 11,587 Afghan civilians who received medical treatment from those forces. The treatment was humanitarian assistance, not the result of injuries sustained during those anti-insurgent operations.]

On the Afghan local police community defense initiative:

The local police has real potential to create problems for the Taliban. These are local community members who are want to keep the Taliban out and are willing to defend their homes and their communities and to fight for it. I'm not saying this is going to have the same impact as the Sons of Iraq, but it has some significant potential.

On efforts to reintegrate low-level insurgents:

They're [the government of Afghanistan] on the threshold of beginning reintegration, which has actually taken place in a variety of places around the country but which will be much more substantial in size as the program is rolled out and as the citizens have the confidence that there are good reasons beyond just not getting killed.

On the possibility of reconciliation between insurgent leaders and the Afghan government:


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