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The U.S. Supports Pakistan. They Support Terrorism In Afghanistan: What Are The U.S. Options?

ArmchairPolitiicianPakistan, July 21, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW. ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

Following a large blast in Kabul that killed over 150, the Afghanistan government blamed the Haqqani terrorist group, which has close ties to the Taliban, al Qaeda and Pakistan’s spy agency, Interservices Intelligence (ISI). The U.S. needs to focus on Haqqani, which has consolidated militant groups across the war zone. Because of the Haqqani ties to Pakistan, a political solution should be pursued. However, Pakistan has so far show its commitment to terrorist groups, and an unwillingness to reconcile with the Afghan government. However, there are recent signs this policy could be changing

The U.S. is sending more troops to Afghanistan, and will need to defeat the Haqqani terrorist group. This might be done directly, or through the intervention of Pakistan and ISI, which has use such groups to pursue its interests in Afghanistan. According to Brookings, “Afghanistan’s peaceful future depends to a great extent on an auspicious regional environment, with Pakistan at its core. Conversely, an unstable Afghanistan threatens Pakistan, complicating the latter’s ability to refurbish its weak state and economy and suppress dangerous internal militancy. But in the absence of dramatically improved relations with India, Pakistan is likely to prefer an unstable Afghanistan to a strong Afghanistan closely aligned with India. Pakistan thus retains an interest in not liquidating its long-term relationship with the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, a policy that exacerbates Afghan instability.” The U.S. has recently made a strong commitment to work with India, particularly economically.

The Haqqani group along with the Taliban control about one-third of the territory and about 10 million people in Afghanistan. According to Peter Bergen of CNN, the militants wide reach makes it difficult for NATO forces to build enduring partnerships with the Afghan civilians. An element of the U.S. plans should be to strengthen work with Kabul to strengthen its ability to resist terrorism. Regimes such as China, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countires have good relationships with Pakistan, which might give the U.S. leverage with Pakistan in prying them loose from their support for terrorist groups. The U.S. needs to directly confront Pakistan’s support for terrorism. The biggest danger to Afghanistan are the Haqqani group. The will need to be defeated by and improved U.N. response, and an improved Afghanistan effort achieved through U.S. special forces involvement.

A recent development is joint cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight terrorists that go back and forth across their border. Pakistan has stationed 200,000 troops, and begun putting fencing along the border. This follows a group led by Senator John McCain that forged an agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together to fight terrorism. The U.S. is developing an Afghanistan policy that could involve putting additional pressure on Pakistan, and at risk for Pakistan are U.S. aid, and its status as major non-NATO ally.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
Pakistan has been a weak ally, because of its continuing support of terrorism in Afghanistan. Since Pakistan continues to deny that it supports the Haqqani or other terrorist groups, its recent cooperation with Afghanistan could be for show, and not serious. The U.S. needs to work with Afghanistan to defeat the Haqqani terrorist groups, the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. It will be important to assess whether Pakistan will continue to support those terrorists and others. If it truly discontinues terrorist support, they can be considered a true ally, and if not, they fall into the same category as Iran as an enemy of the U.S. in the Middle East.

See:
ArmchairPolitiicianAfghanistan, June 19, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com
The Taliban Is Surging In Afghanistan: What Will Be The U.S. Response?

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