November 19th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

Official: Afghan transition could start in early 2011

The U.S. and NATO allies are looking to turn two or three Afghanistan provinces over to Afghan control by June of next year, with "several more" in the in the summer or fall, according to a senior NATO official.

While the plan is still a rough estimate of transition, the picture of how Afghans will begin to take over security by as early as March 2011 in some areas is beginning to emerge as NATO leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet in Lisbon for meetings on the war.

Officials say there is no set goal to define "success," but the expectation is that some provinces would be handed over even before the U.S. deadline to begin removing some troops from Afghanistan.

Some those targeted for first transition include the relatively calm provinces of Parwan, Bamiyan, Panjshir, CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reported earlier this week.

Read more about the transition on our Afghanistan Crossroads blog