The Taliban is under "tremendous pressure" in Afghanistan, where US forces have stepped up their war as Washington touts a new strategy to root out extremism, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday.

"The Taliban, which is, as I believe strongly, part of a kind of terrorist syndicate with Al-Qaeda at the center, is now under tremendous pressure, and I think that''s in America''s national interest," Clinton said on the NBC show "Meet the Press."

In addition to boosting the US military presence in the war-ravaged nation, Clinton said that, "importantly, we''ve seen the Pakistani government and military really step up, which had not happened to the extent it has now."

Clinton cited the "permeable" border between Pakistan and Afghanistan as facilitating the clandestine movements of extremist cells in the region where Washington and its allies believe Al-Qaeda operates terrorism training camps.

The top US diplomat said that six months into the administration of President Barack Obama, and after a comprehensive review of US strategy in Afghanistan, Washington determined that "in order to really go after Al-Qaeda to uproot it and to destroy it, we had to take on those who were giving the Al-Qaeda leadership safe haven."

Describing the approach as a "new strategy," Clinton said that in order for US military intervention to be effective, they have committed to helping empower local Afghan communities to defend themselves once the areas were cleared of extremists.