White House report: ‘Pakistan has no clear plan to defeat militants’

Published: April 7, 2011
Report warns that Pakistan still has no clear path to triumph over insurgents. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Report warns that Pakistan still has no clear path to triumph over insurgents. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


A new White House report warned on Tuesday that Pakistan still had no clear path to triumph over insurgents, and said that Afghanistan’s Taliban was turning more and more to soft civilian targets.

The semi-annual White House report to Congress is designed to judge progress or otherwise towards key objectives of the war in Afghanistan and operations against al Qaeda in Pakistan, now nearly a decade old.

The report noted a deterioration of the situation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) between January and March this year.

It details an operation in Mohmand Agency and Bajaur Agency that started in January to clear insurgent strongholds – the third time in two years that the Pakistani army has attempted to complete the task.

The report said the operation had been hampered by militant resistance, poor weather, the need to settle internally displaced people and the discovery of several caches of improvised explosive devices.

“What remains vexing is the lack of any indication of ‘hold’ and ‘build’ planning or staging efforts to complement ongoing clearing operations,” the report said.

“As such there remains no clear path to defeating the insurgency in Pakistan, despite the unprecedented and sustained deployment of over 147,000 forces.”

The report also, however, noted the “tremendous human sacrifices” made by Pakistani forces in the region.

Despite the problems with counter-insurgency, the report does note positive military cooperation between Pakistan and Washington in the last three months, despite political tensions over the detention and subsequent release of a CIA contractor accused of murder.

It said that recent Pakistani efforts in Fata had been coordinated with Nato-led forces in Afghanistan to ensure that insurgents could be captured as they tried to flee across the border.

The US survey, portions of which remained classified and have not been released, also reflected rising recent bloodshed in Afghanistan, particularly among civilians.

The report also showed slight progress in the last six months in involving the international community to help stabilise Pakistan, and overall, modest progress in the US surge strategy to subdue the Taliban.

But it said that absenteeism and attrition continued to pose a risk to the quality of the Afghan National Security Forces that are vital to Washington’s goal of eventually drawing down its troop presence in Afghanistan.

The report also contained the previously published summary of Obama’s 2010 annual review of the Afghanistan and Pakistan conflict, first issued in December.

That assessment found that Obama’s troop surge strategy announced in 2009 had made modest gains but the challenge was to make US progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan “durable” and “sustainable.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • moise
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:34AM

    Precursor to US troops in Pakistan. It will come, if the price is right for our leaders. Recommend

  • taimur
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:44AM

    Pak report doubts US’s ability to counter insurgencyRecommend

  • John
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:44AM

    The problem of FATA is essentially the same faced by PAK since its inception, and now it is combined with terrorism related activities.

    ZAB tried very hard.

    Only PAK can solve the FATA problem. Whatever have been done since 1950s are not working.

    US sees FATA problem as insurgency/ terrorist haven, PAK sees as autonomy issue, and FATA sees this as PAK gov interference of their independence. All three are correct and PAK knows best to solve the problem. It is now when everyone is interested on this or it will be never and PAK have to live with it.

    Innocent displaced civilians are caught in the middle.Recommend

  • Chilli
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:16AM

    Pakistan cannot control CIA planted Talibans…..Recommend

  • SK
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:39AM

    Pakistani media should stop reporting these so called leaked reports and opinions of US thugs, I am sure stoppage of such false and biased reports’ propagation will revive confidence of ordinary citizens in domestic efforts.

    It is very simple trick of US’ and other vested media to send threatening messages via their articles soon as there is any disagreement from Pakistan’s govt’s side- this way they start arms twisting until goal is achieved. We as Pakistanis must move forward beyond this blackmailing.Recommend

  • F Robinson
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:19AM

    From the US prospective despite generous US aid Pakistan’s role on war on terror is somewhat duplicitous. Open and honest cooperation between Pakistan and US is the key to success. Recommend

  • Najib Khan
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:59AM

    please someone shud counter ask them ( Americans ) that before telling Pakistan of not treading on the correct path to triumph what the heck they themselves have done or achieved against the so called terrorists or militants or insurgents in the last 10 years of the war on terror , with all the worldly resources at their disposal & especially the media .

    they should be ashamed to compile & print such baseless & meaningless reports on Pakistan ,

    what they have achieved in the last 10 years is sheer failures , disappointments & defeats at the hands of poorly armed insurgents .

    Have they forgotten Vietnam ,

    Therefore , It is high time for the American people & masses to wake up , otherwise your nation & your country will keep on receiving the only corpses nothing else.

    also please tell your Govt & policy makers & think tanks to change their international & foreign policies from to meddle policies to mind their own biz policies , do not try to behave like the world cop coz history will tell them that any power in the past that tried to rise beyond certain limits got a nasty & a humiliating crash towards the ground & could never stand up.

    to every rise there is a fall & what goes up must come down. Recommend

  • Kabir
    Apr 6, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Awesome. Its all a buildup to bomb the terrorists whenever they run back to their homes in pakistan,Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 12:52PM

    America is taking care of its own. Her interests and the interests of her citizens. Can we please do the same? Hold the interests of our own citizens paramount rather than see them killed on a daily basis? Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 12:58PM

    pakistan govt isi and army was never serious taliban.at one side they train on other side they kill few.its bread and butter for them.american and other western aid is their only way to find free dollars and continue to have stake in afganistan via ttp and haqanni networRecommend

  • chandran
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:59PM

    it think the drone attack will continue they are indiectly meaning it

    more death of american soliders = more death of pashtun taliban through drone attack like palesthanian rocket = Isareli air raid. it is all survival tactics.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:18PM

    This statement could be the result of telling the UGLY Americans NO MORE Drone attacks and could be a prelude to attack North Waziristan directly or through Afghan forces. Both attacks will have a very negative affect and it will make Americans exit from Afghanistan very very difficult. Recommend

  • Blunt!
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Only feasible option is to Bomb the outskirts of Pakistan which has been a Haven for all the terror elements for quite sometime now. In return, Pakistan can have a valid & justifiable compensation.Recommend

  • Kamran
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:51PM

    Or maybe they maybe even attack islamabad. I think we should not needle them too much. Who knows they might just bomb us to the stone age. The future appears extremely bleak for us.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Dear Chucky Doll, Stop! playing smooching games with your offsprings the ” Terrorists”. We know you nurtured them and when the succeed you award them or even expend them if they do not suit your requirements.The fact being whether the media and intelligensia agree or not the Pashtuns are being deliberately exterminated, for reasons Think-Tanks in London,
    New Delhi, Tel Aviv and WashingtonDC know the answer; Does the ISI and Army chief not
    have the moral courage to tell Pentagon and White House stop supplying candy to your pets
    and this insurgency can stop. Furthermore it depends how US deals logically with Mullah Umar on the earliest phase of withdrawl and future relations with the West. I suppose by now the Taliban have also comprehended that Al Qaida and Neocons are both Vermin from
    the same womb, And we both need to break away from them completely.Recommend

  • Pakistani57
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:28PM

    says a country who is still fighting a war in which she self proclaimed victory a decade agoRecommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:41PM

    You may not like the report – but it just states the obvious.Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 4:59PM

    This bogus report warns our nation of US plans to enter Pakistan. Giving loans only eases their own economies and traps the indebted to their devious schemes of controlling and disrupting the victim nations peace & prosperity. Learn to mind your own business America – we didn’t drop the twin towers, it’s the Jews you have been hiding in your coats – who went so far to make sure not a single Jew should die in the twin towers plot. Did you really think the world is so naive that they would remain ignorant to your devious plots of controlling the worlds resources? Pakistan Army’s strategy is to remove agents/militants with minimal casualties to the innocent, frustrating these Barbarians even more, who then later resort to their death drones! America’s strategy to overcome so-called ‘terrorists’ is to aerially kill 2000+ Pakistani’s this year – including innocent women, children and the old, 2000 of which hardly 100 prove to be militants, a fact which their own statistics support. Shame on you America for being the worlds biggest terrorist and hypocrite! Get your agents of terrorism out of our country and get your dirty corporate hands off of our resources! I think every proud Pakistani would agree!Recommend

  • Proud Ahmadiyya
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:06PM

    The terrorists have infiltrated the Pakistan army at ground level and at planning level as well. It is just a question of time before terrorism engulfs everything here in Pakistan. Given this fact it is no wonder that Pakistan is facing a losing battle against terrorism.Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:13PM

    off course Pakistan cannot… as we created them!Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:26PM

    Pakistan has to see its own interest first and not some country who’s adventurous policy is failing and needs Pakistan to fix it. Our foreign policy is not based on some leaked documents by some institute nor should it be. America “You broke it, you fix it”Recommend

  • DIG
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:13PM

    @F Robinson:
    @Proud Ahmadiyya:
    Dishonest Americans always looking for something. Pakistan must forget American interest now and look after its nations interest.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:49PM

    In my opinion they will not bomb Pakistan because they are used to bombing countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya.These countries never had any proper well trained Armies.They know we have the Nuclear capability therefore they will think 100 times before they attack us and if they do they will get a befitting response. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:57PM

    Pakistan is an unwilling partner for US in fight against terrorism. Pak is interested only in fighting those terrorists that attack Pak army. Others, who do not attack Pak army, can be stretegic assets. Even a 2nd grade student should know that.Recommend

  • sceptic ali
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:10PM

    proud pakistani – that you think jews are responsible for 9/11 speaks volumes for your rationality!
    i guess next you will say that every bomb blast carried out by terror outfits based in pakistan; every assassination carried out by the same terror outfits is done by jews – hindus and/or americans, right?
    you must be of the afridi school of thought – we muslims are better human beings than every one else and can do no wrong. the whole world is conspiring against us, right?Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 9:11PM

    yes this is true that pakistan have not been completely succesful in countering terrorism but they hav done quite a bit damage to the american/indian fed taliban in pakistan.like the operation in swat hav cleared much of the talibans there.We know this bcz after that operation the number of terrorist attaks hav decreased by a mile.The biggest problem of America is that it supports the thing in which it seeks interest and it is very impartial like it helps india in building its economy but it wont help pakistan.It will let israel be an atomic power but wont let iran to be so.The problem starts from the americans training people in afghanistan to fight against russia.After they were succesful they left afghanistan and al qaeda behind.Al-qaeda started to do terrorism for power in afghanistan.Therefor now america hav a reason to fight in afghanistan but their real ambition is not this they want to get into pakistan so that they can destroy their atomic power.So that India can attack China and stop them from developing so that america remain the superpower.Now pakistans reason for fighting in afghanistan is that to stop america from reaching pakistan.now i solute the PAK ARMY for their sacrifices in the war against terrorism and i,m very proud to live in a country that has such a great and brave army and inshallah soon they will be able to crush terrorism and bring the imposters to the ground.Hamza hayat age 13 years class 9th cambridgeRecommend

  • Roflcopter
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:26PM

    US is killing civilians and then blaming Taliban for it. seriously just look at how many children US has killed recently…it’s disgusting what these people are doing.Recommend

  • Andrea
    Apr 7, 2011 - 1:56AM

    @Proud Ahmadiyya: I have a suspicion that you are against all Muslim nations because of your own ideology. I have heard the same curses that the Ahmadiya community makes against all Muslim nations- be it an Arab nation, Iran, any Central Asian state or Somalia. You believe that all Muslim nations are cursed because they don’t follow Ahmadiya religion. This is your perogative. The people of Pakistan will have to prove you otherwise when they defeat these foreign inspired criminals.Recommend

  • bs
    Apr 7, 2011 - 7:25AM

    If nurturing the terrorists gets you billions of dollars every year on an ongoing basis, wouldn’t you do it? As long as the stupid Americans keep paying the Pakistani army/establishment billions of dollars for “fighting” the terrorists, the army will continue to play double-games. The army and ISI have got this game really fine tuned. When the heat is on the army kills couple of anti-establishment nationalists or Uzbeks and then continue the game of getting in bed with the terrorists. The army knows very well that once the terrorists are all eliminated the well that delivers golden dollars in the billions would also dry up. So, in effect, what is happening is that the stupid American government is paying big money to keep the terrorists well taken care of and multiply in numbers for ever!!Recommend

  • mind control
    Apr 7, 2011 - 12:28PM


    Pakistan cannot control CIA planted Talibans…..

    Allow Americans to do it for you.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 7, 2011 - 6:05PM


  • zeeshan
    Apr 8, 2011 - 4:48PM

    leave us and out other muslim brothers, u bloody peopleRecommend

  • Maria
    Apr 10, 2011 - 6:47AM

    It is up to Pakistan alone to decide when the military should flush out the foreign supported criminals and terrorists who have been creating mischief. The death of one precious Pakistani soldier should be avoided at all costs and I hope Kayani waits until everything is perfect before he commits the brave men of the Pakistani military. If the world is so adamant on Pakistan cleaning up the mess that others created, they should be more forthcoming with assistance. We have suffered the most. The world owes Pakistan for allowing these criminals in when they wanted to push out the Soviets out of Afghanistan and now they assume it is our job alone to dispense of them with our limited assets? No- the West should come forward with some serious support for the Pakistani nation and military to acknowledge the lead role Pakistan made in defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan and starting the spiral which ended the Cold War and made the world a safer place. It was because of our sacrifices that Pakistan became destabilized over a 25 year period. If it takes a few months or even a few years, let Kayani decide what’s best for boys in uniform. Let the Pakistani military choose its own timing for rectifying things. They have done a great job so far.Recommend

  • Wondering
    Apr 12, 2011 - 6:37PM

    After going through all the comments,I was wondering, the most common string of thought in Pakistan is that the terrorists were created by the Americans while they supported the Taliban to fight the Soviet – held Afghanistan, and that now Pakistan has to deal with it. Was Pakistan so naive and innocent then for allowing this US support to the Taliban? Did Pakistan did not see the future affect on their own country? Every country, including Pakistan do things for their own self interest, Instead of feeling like a victim, just raise above all this and think of the now, when the problem has already festered, The Americans will come and go, After all, unlike the naive and innocent Pakistan, they look after their own self interest. Recommend

  • Bangash
    Apr 12, 2011 - 10:21PM

    I think this is a fair report by US govt. We have suicide blasts happening everyday and FATA still infested by terrorists.Recommend

    Apr 13, 2011 - 12:19PM

    pakistan has no trust on america,Amercans know very well about concen of india us relation.this is clear from the behavior of america that america is not limted to afghanistan but actually doing against pakistan.thats why it is imossible for pakistan to have a soft corner about america@F Robinson: Recommend

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