Driven out of Afghanistan by the US-led international coalition forces, the Taliban and al-Qaeda have now moved to Pakistan, the top American military commander said today.
"They're now moved, for the most part, to Pakistan," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CBS news in an interview when asked about Taliban and al -Qaeda.
It really a regional strategy that focuses on both Pakistan and Afghanistan and the focus is on securing the Afghan people so that Afghanistan will not be able to return to the safe haven it was for extremists, al-Qaeda specifically but other terrorist organisations as well, Mullen said.
"We left Afghanistan in the late '80s. We left Pakistan in the late '80s. And we find ourselves back there now. Certainly, the questions that are out there from the citizens in those countries are, are we going to stay this time or not?" he said.
I believe that we've got to stay and we've got the right strategy, the right resources, Mullen asserted in response to a question.
"In fact, it hasn't been resourced, really, until the last year. So, yes, it's the most deadly month.
Sadly and tragically, we predicted this would be a very difficult year.
But we've got the right strategy and leadership.
And this, over the course of the next year or so, is really a critical time," he said.
Mullen said the focus of the US President Barack Obama's strategy is really on dismantling, defeating and disrupting al-Qaeda, who struck the US from Afghanistan because the Taliban ran the place and they had a safe haven.