Skip to main content /US
CNN.com /US
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


COMPLETE COVERAGE | FRONT LINES | AMERICA AT HOME | INTERACTIVES »

Franks not surprised by Taliban's quick collapse

Franks said all military options -- including the use of ground troops -- remain on the table.
Franks said all military options -- including the use of ground troops -- remain on the table.  


TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (CNN) -- The commander of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan said Wednesday he is not surprised by the speed of the Taliban's collapse but added that there is still "a great deal of work ahead."

Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, told a news conference here that the campaign's objective -- "the destruction of terrorist networks inside of Afghanistan" -- has not yet been accomplished.

"We have a great deal of work left to do," Franks said.

The general's news conference came as standoffs continued in Konduz -- the Taliban's last stronghold in northern Afghanistan -- and in Kandahar. Just weeks ago, the Taliban regime controlled almost all of the country; today, opposition forces hold 75 percent.

VIDEO
U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks told reporters that coalition forces must continue to pressure the Taliban (November 21)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 

Franks would not predict how long those standoffs would continue but indicated it was only a matter of time before "the illegitimate Taliban regime" is defeated.

"We will prevail," he said.

Franks would not say whether ground troops would be the next phase of the operation but added: "All forms of military power remain on the table for consideration."

He also said he believes the $25 million reward for Osama bin Laden and suspected terrorist leaders will help lead to their capture.