U.S. commanders want to increase fight in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Soldier in Karis Shorabak, Afghanistan, Photo Date: March 2011
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) A top U.S. commander wants a more aggressive Afghan military pressuring the Taliban and other insurgents over the normally quieter months of Afghanistan's winter.

Then, he wants them quickly going on the offensive in the spring.

It's all part of a plan Washington hopes will change the course in a war now entering its 17th year.

Gen. Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command says Washington is looking "for a major effort to gain the initiative very quickly as we enter into the fighting season."

He tells The Associated Press that the U.S.-led coalition is helping the Afghans will become better fighters.

Votel says in an interview: "By the time they get to the next fight ... they will be able to really present a significant offensive capability."