ATLANTA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday the U.S. mission was making progress in Afghanistan and stressed Pakistan was also in the fight, pushing back against recently leaked documents that question its commitment.
“In Pakistan, we’ve seen the government begin to take the fight to violent extremists within its borders. Major blows have been struck against al Qaeda and its leadership,” he told the Disabled American Veterans convention.
Secret U.S. military reports leaked last month by the group WikiLeaks appeared to cast doubt on U.S. military confidence in Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, raising questions as the war enters a ninth year and as Obama ramps up force levels.
Some of the thousands of the leaked documents resurrected longstanding suspicions of a connection between Pakistani intelligence services and the Taliban, which was fomenting trouble for the Afghans and undermining the U.S. war effort.
The president is sending thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan to confront a resurgent Taliban and to prevent it from providing sanctuary for America’s enemies.
“If Afghanistan were to be engulfed by an even wider insurgency, al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates would have even more space to plan their next attack. And as President of the United States, I refuse to let that happen,” Obama said.
Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Doina Chiacu