By Dialogo November 01, 2011 The Defense Department’s latest report to Congress on Afghanistan details steady progress and shows the plan there is working, a senior defense official speaking on background told reporters in Washington D.C. The Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan — commonly called “the 1230 report” for its citation in the law that requires it — is the latest congressionally mandated report card on Afghanistan to Congress. The reports, which have charted the state of security in Afghanistan, began in 2008. “We have been describing the situation on the ground as it is,” the official said. In June 2008, the report said the Taliban had regrouped. In January 2009, the report said conditions had deteriorated and continued to do so in June 2009. The April 2010 report said the decline in security had stopped and the November 2010 report said there were modest gains in security. “In this report, we’re saying there are important security gains [and] reversed violence trends in the country, except the area along the Pakistani border,” the official said. The bottom line is the plan President Barack Obama rolled out in December 2009 is working, the official added. “It was about reversing that deterioration, it was about reducing violence through a combination of military and civilian surge working together on the group in Afghanistan,” he said. “Where we’ve been least successful is in [Regional Command] East, where we put the fewest [surge] troops and where the safe havens in Pakistan are.” The Afghan security forces have been crucial to the progress, the official said, noting these forces are increasing in numbers and quality. Two years ago, few people enlisted in the Afghan army or police. Now, he added, the Afghan government turns away thousands who can’t meet the new higher standards required by the security forces. “Their performance is the key to our ability to continue the withdrawal … by the end of 2014,” he said. Afghan forces are in the lead in seven areas of the country covering 25 percent of the population, the official said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he will announce the next areas to transition to Afghan responsibility Nov. 2 during a meeting in Istanbul. Afghanistan still has problems, the official said, noting the insurgents there are resilient. But, he added, the insurgents have been significantly weakened. The safe havens in Pakistan are a major stumbling block, the official said, but in all other areas of the country and by almost any measure, he added, conditions in Afghanistan have improved.
First Published: 3rd September, 2020 12:50 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US Last Updated: 3rd September, 2020 12:50 IST Wheeler Outpitches Scherzer, Phillies Beat Nationals 3-0 Zack Wheeler tossed three-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings to outpitch Max Scherzer, Jay Bruce hit a solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night. Associated Press Television News LIVE TV COMMENT Written By Zack Wheeler tossed three-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings to outpitch Max Scherzer, Jay Bruce hit a solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.Neil Walker was 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Phillies, who’ve won eight of nine and three in a row to go two games over .500 for the first time since they were 79-77 last Sept. 24.The defending World Series champion Nationals have lost five straight and eight of nine to fall to 12-22. They’ve been shut out in consecutive games.Wheeler (4-0) struck out six and lowered his ERA to 2.20. David Phelps retired the four batters he faced in his debut with the Phillies. Brandon Workman finished for his eighth save in nine chances and fourth for Philadelphia.Scherzer (3-2) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. He slammed his glove with two hands in the dugout after his final inning.The three-time Cy Young Award winner ran into trouble in the fourth when he walked J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura and Alec Bohm lined a single to load the bases with one out. Walker then slapped an opposite-field hit to left-center to score two.Bruce drove his sixth homer the opposite way to left in the sixth to make it 3-0.Victor Robles, Asdrubal Cabrera and Luis Garcia hit singles off Wheeler, who threw 108 pitches. Wheeler has been outstanding for the Phillies in his first season after signing a $118 million, five-year contract in free agency.BACK TO BACKAaron Nola and Hector Neris combined on a four-hitter in Philadelphia’s 6-0 win Tuesday night.WISE MOVEPhillies manager Joe Girardi gave red-hot Rhys Hoskins, who is 0 for 17 against Scherzer, a night off. Walker replaced him at first base and raised his average from .192 to .276 with three hits.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: RHP Javy Guerra was placed on the 10-day injury list with a left hamstring strain and RHP Kyle McGowin was recalled.Phillies: Girardi said LHP Adam Morgan could be ready to return from the injury list when he’s eligible on Sept. 10. Morgan has a tired throwing shoulder.(Image Credit Pixbay) FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE