The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, US General David McKiernan, said Sunday that the West had not lost the war against Islamic insurgents but more troops and equipment were needed to tackle the rebels.

McKiernan commands about 70,000 mainly Western international soldiers deployed in Afghanistan to fight an insurgency led by remnants of the Taliban which was toppled from government seven years ago.

Since then, the insurgency has increased every year, raising concerns in the troop-contributing countries that the mission here is failing.

"We are not losing in Afghanistan," the four-star US general, who commands both the 40-nation NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the separate US-led coalition, told reporters in Kabul.

"The insurgency will not win in this country. The vast majority of people who live here do not want the Taliban," he added.

Reacting to recent Western media reports about failures of international military operations in Afghanistan, the general said "I absolutely reject that idea, and I don''t believe it."

But the general said he needed more troops and military gear, including helicopters, to speed up the war against insurgents.