US points finger at Pakistan for undermining Afghan security: Report

By AFP
Published: December 11, 2012

The report noted the better US relations with Pakistan, which agreed in July to reopen Western forces' supply routes into Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: Despite an easing of tensions with the United States and increased cooperation, Pakistan is persistently undermining security in Afghanistan by permitting safe havens for insurgents, a Pentagon report said Monday.

In a twice-a-year war assessment mandated by Congress, the Defense Department said that the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan and their allies had succeeded in preventing Taliban advances while limiting civilian casualties.

But Taliban havens across the border in Pakistan, the limited capacity of the Afghan government and “endemic corruption” pose the greatest risks as the United States prepares to pull out troops by the end of 2014, the Pentagon said.

The report noted the better US relations with Pakistan, which agreed in July to reopen Western forces’ supply routes into Afghanistan. Pakistan had refused access after a US border strike killed 24 of its troops in November 2011.

“However, Pakistan’s continued acceptance of sanctuaries for Afghan-focused insurgents and failure to interdict (explosive) materials and components continue to undermine the security of Afghanistan and pose an enduring threat to US, coalition and Afghan forces,” the report said.

The report, which covered developments from April through September, said that Pakistan “has contributed to US interests while simultaneously falling short in other areas.”

The Pentagon also reported modest progress between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since then, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that an attack last week on the Afghan intelligence chief was planned in Pakistan.

Islamabad denied Karzai’s assertion.

The Pentagon report said that enemy attacks went up one percent from April-September 2011. But it attributed the rise to a shorter poppy harvest, which kept low-level insurgents busy for less time, and said life had improved in urban areas.

Enemy attacks “are now disproportionately occurring outside of populated areas, and the security of many of Afghanistan’s largest cities increased substantially during the reporting period,” it said.

However, the Pentagon figures showed that enemy attacks were higher than in 2009 before President Barack Obama ramped up troop numbers. The last of the 33,000 “surge” troops withdrew in September this year.

Opinion polls show that most Americans want to end their country’s longest-ever war, which was launched following the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda militants living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

The Pentagon report described “substantial progress” by Afghans in taking the lead in their own security, but acknowledged logistical and management shortcomings in the national forces as well as corruption.

A Defense Department official, briefing reporters on the report on condition of anonymity, said that the goal remained for Afghan forces to be able to operate independently by 2014.

“Is it going to be a challenge? I agree with you, yes,” he said. “Will there continue to be a need for training and advising after 2014? Yes.”

The report recorded 66 insider attacks on NATO or Afghan national forces, a sharp rise from 43 the year earlier, but voiced hope that new countermeasures would reduce the threat.

The Pentagon gave a positive assessment to efforts to reduce civilian casualties, seen as a major cause of resentment toward the Western-backed government.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO forces decreased by 35 percent compared with the previous year, although overall civilian casualties rose due to attacks by insurgents, the report said.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Chengez K
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:46AM

    What about Pakistan losses & deaths??

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  • sabi
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:09AM

    Generals are too over clever.It seems they have not learnt any lesson from past.THey think they can fool the world for ever.They are wrong.They will fall in their trap that is the destiny of duplicity.

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  • Ahmed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:30AM

    That is not true…Pakistan is not a threat to afghanistan. Pakistan is a threat to the security of entire mankind.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:30AM

    The main question is despite all the denials that why each and every high value target was found and killed/arrested from Pakistan? If there are no safe havens how come the drones are killing the top terrorist leaders? Why are drones not attacking Pakistani cities and claiming the killing of terrorists?Recommend

  • Helix
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:30AM

    Wait for the denials.
    The role of the military to fight a war by standing up to the enemy. Hit and run is a coward’s war.

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  • Khan of Jandul
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:31AM

    Undoubtedly, Pakistan support for militants and providing them safe havens within its soil is the main reason for insecurity and instability in Afghanistan. This policy of Pakistan has not only kept Afghanistan burning, but it has also destabilized Pakistan and its society has become increasingly intolerant. Pakistan should understand that Afghanistan has changed a lot in the past 10 years. It will be impossible for Pak proxies to take that country again. However, on the other Pakistan can greatly benefit from peace and stability in Afghanistan. One of the grave challenges confronted by Pakistan is energy shortages and this issue could be resolved through importing electric power from Central Asia through Afghanistan. In addition, Afghanistan has huge potential in terms of hydro-electric power. Pakistan could contribute in development of that sector in Afghanistan and then could buy the generated power therein. But all this well depend how honest Pakistan is about peace in Afghanistan. So far the record of the country is worse as most of militant leaders are residing in Pakistan and enjoying comfortable within safe houses. Pakistan has to change this and honestly cooperate in establishing peace in Afghanistan as without establishing peace in Afghanistan, there could be no peace in Pakistan either. Therefore, Pakistan has to change its strategic calculus as this has only resulted in killing of thousands of innocent people and destruction of schools and clinics both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:44AM

    Pointing middle finger towards Pakistan is part of American habit and love for this friend,ally and partner,twisting arm is another style,delays in payments of our genuine money like CSF is an other way of talking.Americans are sick.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:55AM

    Pointing finger is an habit of every arrogant,one never see how many fingers are pointing to himself of his own hand. Americans are now becoming rogue for friends and foe alike.

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  • SK
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:25AM

    pressure tactic to stop Pakistan from concluding Iran gas pipeline

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  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:36AM

    So what else is new? America goes around the world creating dreadful problems, and then starts up a propaganda campaign blaming other people for those very same problems. Pakistan is very patient, but one day will learn to start competing with US propaganda

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  • Brad Naksuthin
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:30PM

    It is almost inconceivable that for the half trillion dollars the US spends on defense each year that we should be losing the war in Afghanistan to a bunch of illiterate farmers.
    This marks the 11th year we’ve been embroiled in this conflict. A war, which should have been over in months, not years. Yet here we are, in the longest war in US history being beaten by a bunch of non professional insurgents with no tanks, no helicopters, no submarines, no jet fighters, no aircraft carriers, no HumveeS, no night vision goggles, no combat boots , no bullet proof vests.
    Estimates are that the Taliban have about 25,000 hardened fighters. Against them we have (until recently) 70,000 US troops, 20,000 Nato troops, 200,000 afghan security forces and 100,000 military contractors and support staff. That means we outnumber these fighters by 16 to 1.
    Yet for all the troops and all the money and all the technology, we are losing this war….just as the Russians lost 25 years ago. Despite our efforts to broker some kind of truce, the Taliban refuse to talk peace.

    On top of that it’s costing US taxpayers 10 billion dollars a month in Afghanistan
    Yet everyday for the past 11 years we have had nothing to show for our efforts but more flag draped coffins

    After 8 years of war in Iraq, 800 billion dollars and 4500 lives we pulled up stakes and LEFT….with absolutely nothing to show for our efforts but a mountain of debt.
    Let’s cut our losses in Afghanistan too before the toll in lives and money worsen

    Then let’s make a vow never to reelect another politician who drags us into another senseless wasteful and pointless war that benefits no one except the military contractors who make bombs , and bullets

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  • Elhaan Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Again, our establishment supporters will deny this report findings despite OBL and other top terror network’s leaders have been killed in the Land of Pure. Punjabi Establishment is not only responsible for instability of Afghanistan but also of KP and Tribal Area. Unless, International Community fixes Punjabi Establishment, this region will keep on bleeding .

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  • Someone from SFO
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @ Brad Naksuthin,

    Brad, I have been thinking the same thing but unfortunately know the reason and the answer. Here it goes.. and it is sad.

    The reason: Can you think of anyone willing to blow themselves up to prove a point or get to heaven? I can’t. That’s the difference. Sad, but true. 68K vs. 2k will not make a difference. Now, I wanna blow my own head, why? The insanity. All of us, including you and me trying to find answers.

    The answer: Religion, right or wrong, I mostly think that one is confused, but that is a personal matter and opinion and not to be generalized and sounds judgmental. I am an atheist, but the ones who want to get to heaven should care.

    We have paid though our noses. Me and you. I hope that you are an American and not pretending to be one, just to post your comments.

    But we are ALL (including me and you, and few around us) guilty as well.
    Remember…
    Dubya! If that rings a bell.

    ..Peace

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  • Malik
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:33PM

    Aren’t we missing some thing here, USA can’t or doesn’t want to sign “Civilian Nuclear Deal”, blame “Pakistan having Taliban havens within it’s borders” n Pentagon says “Acceptance of Sanctuaries for Afghan-focused insurgent” USA administration doesn’t like “Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline” etc. So in other words Pakistan should become like Phalistine (circled by Jews n Arabs as sight seeing actors) surrounded by India, Afghanistan, Iran n for its own defense or survival look towards Uncle Sam. Hellooooo there is a rat in all of the above so called suggestions, advises or demands. For some odd reason they didn’t sit with British historians to get educated about this part of the world n it’s people. This is not a Arab land or world, it’s South Asia. No sane politician, Army General, Civilian or public at large would even dream living defenseless.

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 11:03PM

    In the very outset,fighting stemna of ememy force was overlooked from its climax in 2010.
    It has now been admitted,Taliban remained a strong force throughout Afghanistan.
    they still in effort to regain lost paradiz through kidnaping,intimidation tactics,encourging insider attacks,strategy messaging caompaign.

    Keeping in view all the scenario,pantagon has set a new rul,it is highly secret,well known sources declined to be name underground rul imposed by the authority concerned.

    in the light of recent changes in the policy,the region will see new strategy of the power dealing with the insurgency,due to lack of confidence some stak holder has been deprived regarding the updated mechanism.
    Allalh Almighty bless my country.

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  • Dr V. C. Bhutani
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:44AM

    Many in India have been saying since 9/11 of 2001 that Pakistan was the chief supporter of the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan under Musharraf had no choice but to join in the US-led war against the Afghan Taliban-Al Qaeda combine in Afghanistan, which, as we all know, was supported by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. This was carrying a little too far Pakistan’s devotion to Islam and ummah. Bush left no choice to Pakistan when he said you are either with us or against us. Even so, while Pakistan seemingly joined and cooperated with the US, Pakistan really played a double game throughout: the phrase frequently used in US writings on the subject over the years was that Pakistan ran with the hares and hunted with the hounds. A truer thing was never said. In the more recent phases of the Western war in Afghanistan, Pakistan made ill-concealed attempts to provide safe havens to terrorists (courteously called militants) who made no secret of their penchant for killing Isaf troops in Afghanistan whenever possible: they continue to do so. The closure of Pakistan’s supply routes to Afghanistan was merely khisyani billi khamba noche: the US could have dispensed with the supply routes through Pakistan, only it would have been expensive. That Pakistan fell in line and reopened the supply routes was not indicative of any change in Pakistan’s policy, which continued to be to wait for the Isaf to leave Afghanistan and then have enough influence to control the Afghanistan government after December 2014. The amazing part is not that a US report now says this but that it took 11 years to say that. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 12 Dec 2012, 0314 IST

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