Speaking to reporters today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta conceded that there were likely to be many more high profile attacks in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban is “adaptive and resilient.”
“I expect that there will be more of these high-profile attacks and that the enemy will do whatever they can to try and break our will using this kind of tactic. That will not happen,” Panetta said, claiming that the Taliban is trying to “undermine the new sense of security.”
Exactly who is feeling more secure is unclear, as a minor dip in deaths compared to last year was short-lived, and violence is still a huge problem nationwide in Afghanistan. The only “signs of progress” are the ones claimed in public US Defense Department statements.
US officials have sought to downplay the recent surge in violence, particularly in green-on-blue attacks, by insisting they are a sign of “Taliban desperation.” They have blamed desperation for a number of other surges in violence that also wound up to be long-lived, however, so this is not necessarily indicative of anything.