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Anti-Terrorist Military Campaign On Course, Says Clarke

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2001 – U.S. and coalition efforts to oust terrorist Osama bin Laden, his Al Qaeda network, and Taliban supporters from Afghanistan are on track, a senior DoD official said today.

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told Pentagon reporters that DoD is achieving its military objectives in Afghanistan as outlined in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's Oct. 7 remarks when the military campaign began.

"We're making progress along the tracks that we've laid out," Clarke remarked.

She noted that U.S. military operations in Afghanistan are creating conditions "so we can have sustained anti- terrorist operations, so we can get more humanitarian relief in there."

The campaign in Afghanistan, Clarke added, is also helping the United States and its allies obtain more intelligence about Al Qaeda and Taliban assets and operations in the country.

Obtaining information to gauge the effectiveness of U.S. air strikes against some Al Qaeda and Taliban targets "is hard to come by," Clarke acknowledged. However, she added, based on available information, the air strikes "have made an impact" against terrorist forces and equipment in Afghanistan.

U.S. military air strikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan assist efforts "to be as helpful as we can" to Northern Alliance opposition forces, Clarke remarked.

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