Britain's highest ranking military officer has given an upbeat assessment of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, despite a recent wave of deadly terrorist attacks.
In the first weeks of 2018, more than 100 people have been killed and dozens wounded in violent plots claimed by the Taliban and Islamic State-affiliated militants.
The UK's Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Stuart Peach, has discussed the situation with senior defence figures during a visit to Australia, but insists progress on security is being made.
"Of course when things go wrong that tends to be emphasised, as an event that goes wrong and tragically many people are killed, and we've seen that in recent weeks," Sir Stuart told the ABC.
"But we must also remember that the actual overall mission is going well and Afghanistan security forces have taken control of their own country," the Air Chief Marshall added.
Last month a BBC study found Taliban fighters, who US-led forces spent billions of dollars trying to defeat, are now openly active in 70 per cent of the country.
However, the British Defence chief, who will soon take over as chairman of the NATO Military Committee, believes the multi-national mission to secure Afghanistan is working.
"The situation locally varies from district to district, from province to province, across the regions," he said.
"What's really important for everyone to understand is the mission is to make the Afghan security forces stronger so they can control their own country and that's what Australia and the United Kingdom are doing as part of the NATO mission."