The Taliban in Afghanistan will never be completely defeated and this year's fighting season is still "up for grabs," the commander of NATO-led forces in southwestern Afghanistan said Wednesday.
"If we think the Taliban will be completely destroyed, that's not feasible. They'll continue to show up," Major General Lee Miller told reporters at the Pentagon during a briefing via satellite from Afghanistan.
"The key is to get the Afghan national security forces to the level where they can maintain security for the populace of Afghanistan," he added.
Miller said that in recent months Afghan forces have made significant progress in their ability to defend against Taliban attacks, citing success in an ongoing battle in Sangin, in Helmand Province—an area that has been a hotbed for insurgents. The fighting, which began May 25, should be over in a matter of hours, Miller predicted.