Showing posts from June, 2012

How to Secure Afghanistan ? - An American Perspective

What It Will Take to Secure AfghanistanPolicy Innovation Memorandum No. 23,
Author: Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, June 2012

Afghanistan is approaching a major inflection point in its long and turbulent history. In 2014 most of the foreign military forces are due to pull out. With them will go the bulk of foreign financing that has accounted for almost all of the state's budget. Twenty fourteen is also the year that Afghanistan is due to hold presidential elections. Hamid Karzai, the only president the country has known since the fall of the Taliban, has said he will not seek another term in office. Thus Afghanistan is likely to have a new president to lead it into a new era. This era will be shaped by many factors, principally decisions made by Afghans themselves, but the United States has the ability to affect the outcome if it makes a sustained commitment to maintain security, improve the political proc…

US - Pakistan Relations Nosediving?

America and the Two Pakistans
By Stephen P. Cohen and Moeed Yusuf,
New York Times, June 20, 2012

In the past few years, multiple power centers have begun to emerge slowly in Pakistan, as evidenced again this week with the historically pliant Supreme Court dismissing the Pakistani prime minister, Yousuf Reza Gilani, from office. For much of the country’s history, however, Pakistan’s military and security apparatus has wielded unchallenged domestic clout. Consequently, throughout the six decade-long U.S.-Pakistan relationship, Pakistan’s army has been the principal interlocutor with America, both because of its domestic heft and because military rulers were at the helm in periods when the United States needed Pakistan most.
Today, Pakistan’s army is seen in the United States — especially in Congress — as an adversary, above all because it resists targeting Afghan militants who take refuge on Pakistani soil. The resentment is so deep that even American conservatives, historically…

Afghan Taliban and India

Taliban praise India for resisting Afghan entanglementBy Sanjeev Miglani KABUL | Sun Jun 17, 2012; Reuters (Reuters) - India has done well to resist U.S. calls for greater involvement in Afghanistan, the Taliban said in a rare direct comment about one of the strongest opponents of the hardline Islamist group that was ousted from power in 2001.
The Taliban also said they won't let Afghanistan be used as a base against another country, addressing fears in New Delhi that Pakistan-based anti-India militants may become more emboldened if the Taliban return to power. The Afghan Taliban have longstanding ties to Pakistan and striking a softer tone towards its arch rival India could be a sign of a more independent course. Direct talks with the United States - which have since been suspended - and an agreement to open a Taliban office in Qatar to conduct formal peace talks have been seen as signs of a more assertive stance. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this month encouraged India to take …