Despite renewed violence and few measurable gains in territorial security, the South Asia Strategy is working and has finally given coalition and Afghan forces the support they need to get to a negotiated peace with the Taliban, the departing top U.S. general in charge of Afghanistan operations said Wednesday.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan held his final press conference Wednesday on the state of operations in Afghanistan before his replacement, Army Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, takes over through a change-of-command ceremony in the next few weeks.

What the strategy needs, Nicholson said, is more time to realize gains from new offers for cease-fires by the Afghan government and take advantage of a desire by some elements of the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government.

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