Brigadier Bob Bruce, commander of Task Force Helmand, said the capabilities of Afghan forces have "risen markedly" over the last eight to 12 months.
He told reporters: "The Afghans working with us now really are in control. The insurgency is still there. It's not gone but it doesn't dictate things."
More top news
According to the RSPCA the animal was "kicked with such force it was propelled into the air".
Ahead of Fifa disciplinary proceedings, Fatma Samoura said teams should not be given dispensation for wearing poppies on Armistice Day.
Gripping TV it may not have been but the televised four-day hearing was a box office event for fans of legal argument.