The New York Times has a fresh story on the training of Afghan security forces, and despite making claims of training progress in the headline, the story documents, yet again, that US efforts to shape a Western security force in Afghanistan are failing. At the same time, we learn from the ICRC that the offensive in the Kandahar area has doubled the rate of war injured treated at a local hospital.
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 13, 2010 6:32 am|
|By: Jim White Thursday October 7, 2010 5:48 am|
As I reported on Wednesday, although the joint NATO-Pakistan investigation of the deaths of Pakistani soldiers at a border post concluded on Tuesday, no joint statement had yet been issued. Dawn had listed the areas of disagreement that were delaying release of a statement. Late Wednesday, both NATO and the US Embassy in Pakistan released statements on the investigation and the incident, presumably signaling that no joint statement will be forthcoming. A review of Dawn’s list of areas of disagreement in light of the released statements shows that all but one of Pakistan’s demands were met. Pakistan had insisted that NATO take responsibility for the attacks and deaths, but neither the NATO nor US Embassy statement does so. A Washington Post story this morning provides more details on the sequence of events in the attacks on the border post, lending support to Pakistan’s account of what happened.
|By: Jim White Saturday October 2, 2010 7:30 am|
Tense relations between the United States and Pakistan are leading to a mixed set of signals today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US is secretly diverting military drones from Afghanistan for CIA use in Pakistan, resulting in a record month for drone strikes in Pakistan. As if to prove this point, Reuters reports that on Saturday two drone strikes in Pakistan killed 18 people. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani on Friday addressed the Pakistan National Assembly and spoke of unspecified “other options” should the US continue its helicopter raids over the border, but a telephoned apology from General David Petraeus to General Ashfaq Kayani (Chief of Staff of Pakistan’s army) seems to have calmed tensions to the point that the closure of the Torkham crossing now is described as temporary. Adding to the mix, Iran’s PressTV trots out Zaid Hamid (Googling him brings many references to him being a conspiracy theorist and Pakistan’s answer to Glenn Beck) to comment on the situation, ascribing US actions to panic over the prospect of losing the war in Afghanistan.
|By: Jim White Thursday September 30, 2010 5:10 am|
On Monday, I posed the question “How much more US abuse will Pakistan tolerate?” It turns out that the answer is “Not very much.” Pakistan has closed a key border crossing into Afghanistan used as a supply route by NATO after the latest reports of a NATO raid into Pakistan resulted in the death of three Pakistani troops.
|By: Jim White Wednesday June 23, 2010 2:08 pm|
The running joke about Obama defenders says that whenever Obama makes one his horrendous moves or continues yet another terrible policy started under George W. Bush, the defenders will claim that he is a master tactician, working many moves ahead of us, sometimes even in dimensions we can’t possibly perceive. With today’s decision by Obama to accept the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and to ask General David Petraeus to step down one level to assume command of US forces in Afghanistan, Obama has made what I think finally is a good strategic decision on the political front.