In an EXCLUSIVE interview on “This Week,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said that making progress in Afghanistan is both “harder” and going more slowly than anticipated.
“There are some serious problems” in Afghanistan, Panetta said. “We’re dealing with tribal societies. We’re dealing with a country that has problems with governance, problems with corruption, problems with narcotics trafficking, problems with a Taliban insurgency,” he said.
But, the CIA director said, the U.S. is making progress in Afghanistan. “It’s harder, it’s slower than I think anyone anticipated. But at the same time, we are seeing increasing violence,” he told host Jake Tapper.
“Is the strategy the right strategy? We think so,” he said. “I think…the key to success or failure is whether the Afghans accept responsibility, are able to deploy an effective army and police force to maintain stability. If they can do that, then I think we’re going to be able achieve the kind of progress and the kind of stability that the President is after,” Panetta said.
“This is going to be tough. This is not going to be easy,” he said.