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While ISAF routinely reports trends in Taliban attacks, it does not reveal exact numbers of attacks. Judging from its illustrative charts, however, it appears that there were more than 28,000 Taliban "enemy initiated" attacks in 2011.
The coalition defines enemy initiated attacks as those by small arms, mortars, rockets and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. But it does not include IEDs that are found and cleared before they explode.
Trends in Taliban attacks are one yardstick used by ISAF to measure war progress. Others include the state of security in populated areas, the number of coalition and Afghan casualties, the level of economic activity, the degree to which civilians can move about freely and the performance of Afghan security forces.
Graybeal said that even though the number of 2012 Taliban attacks was unchanged from 2011, "our assessment of the fundamentals of campaign progress has not changed. The enemy is increasingly separated from the population, and the ANSF are currently in the lead for the vast majority of partnered operations."
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