With drone attacks, CIA activities and a lack of progress in Afghanistan widening the rift between the United States and Pakistan, the delicate counterterrorism alliance forged between the two after Sept. 11 is coming under increasing scrutiny. “It’s a mistake to presume the U.S. and Pakistan were ever entirely on the same page,” says Stephen Tankel a visiting scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. Tankel, who spoke with Trend Lines this morning, explains that, initially, the U.S. was rather narrowly focused on targeting al-Qaida, and was careful not to push then-Pakistani […]
The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, has made a visit to Pakistan to meet with his military counterpart in the nation. According to this report by the U.S. Defense Department’s own news channel, military relations between the U.S. and Pakistan remain strong.
The Obama administration has begun talks with Afghanistan designed to quell the Karzai government’s fears about being abandoned by the West come 2014. Those talks are said to involve negotiations for long-term basing of U.S. troops involved in training Afghan security forces and supporting future counterterrorism operations. This can be seen as a realistic course of action, given our continuing lack of success in nation-building there, as well as our inability — although perhaps unwillingness is a better term — to erect some regional security architecture that might replace our presence. But there are good reasons to question this course. […]
Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan conducted a joint military exercise in Tuzla, Turkey, last month. The joint exercise had been decided on at a summit meeting in December under the auspices of the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Forum. In an email interview, Ishtiaq Ahmad, the Quaid-i-Azam Fellow at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, discussed the trilateral forum. WPR: What is the background of the trilateral forum, and to what extent has it been formally institutionalized? Ishtiaq Ahmad: The Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Forum was launched in April 2007 as a regional effort to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan by fostering multifaceted cooperation among three […]
CAMP KHELAGAY, BAGHLAN, Afghanistan — What most impressed the Hungarian army captain about his Afghan army counterparts wasn’t so much their proficiency at maneuvering and holding their own under enemy fire — they’ve been at it for a while, after all. Rather, it was their increasingly apparent ability to plan and execute entire operations almost on their own that impressed the captain, whose name must be withheld under standard Hungarian army media rules. The Afghans have proven capable of conducting difficult and dangerous missions such as finding and disposing of deadly roadside bombs laid down by the Taliban, the biggest […]
Six U.S. soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division were killed March 29 in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province near the Pakistan border. This U.S. Defense Department video includes a statement from Maj. General John Campbell, commander of the 101st Airborne.
COMBAT OUTPOST BOWRI THANA, KHOST, Afghanistan – Since taking over this volatile district on the border with Pakistan earlier this year, Charlie Company of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment has come under a series of attacks from incoming rockets. One round hit just inside the small outpost, its shrapnel slicing off one soldier’s hand and leaving him with a hole in his thigh. Another, on a different day, scored another hit, throwing one lieutenant off his feet and sending him hurling through the air. “We took as many attacks — four — in a month as our […]