Gen. David Petraeus said today that militant insurgents in Afghanistan are growing in strength but will be fought "relentlessly and aggressively" by bolstered American troops. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan said the United States would take the fight to the Taliban and insurgent forces in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.
Petraeus was greeted with skeptical questions from senators about how willing the Pakistani government is to fight extremists using its ungoverned Afghan border as a staging area for attacks. Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, warned that he does not agree with the administration's contention that progress in Afghanistan depends on success on the Pakistan side of the border. Afghanistan's future should not be tied totally to the Pakistan government's decisions, he said.