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Pentagon chief says Afghan mission in "right direction"

(Xinhua)

08:34, August 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday the country's war efforts in Afghanistan are moving in "right direction."

Joining a televised conversation along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National Defense University, Panetta said U.S. troops are "making good progress" in that central Asian nation and are beginning to help build the Afghan army.

Clinton said part of the transition Washington is going through in Afghanistan is supporting the Afghan reconciliation.

"We know that there has to be a political resolution alongside military gains," she said, responding to a question on the Afghan-led talks with the Taliban.

The United States is pulling its surge troops of over 30,000 out of Afghanistan under an order of President Barack Obama, with the depature of10,000 troops by year-end and all by next summer.

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