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Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Sunday that the United States would support the opposition Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in its fight against the ruling Taleban militia.
However, he did not indicate the kind of support that the US had envisaged for the Northern Alliance.
The defence secretary said one of the US goals was to "develop relationships with groups in Afghanistan that oppose the Taleban regime".
Rumsfeld also said the US was looking to "alter the military balance over time to deny the Taleban the offensive systems that hamper the progress of opposition forces."
"We have to create the conditions for a sustained effort that will assist those forces in the country that are opposed to the Taleban and Al-Queda," Rumsfeld said
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