US points finger at Pakistan for undermining Afghan security: Report

Bi-annual war assessment report submitted to Congress that safe havens in Pakistan still undermine efforts.


Afp December 10, 2012

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.

COMMENTS (16)

Dr V. C. Bhutani | 8 years ago | Reply

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

Sultan Ahmed. | 8 years ago | Reply

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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