The United States has a vital national security interest in addressing the current and potential security threats posed by extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan, al Qaeda and other groups of attacks’ terrorists are planning new terror attacks Their targets remain the U.S homeland. Pakistan. Afghanistan. India. Europe. Australia, our allies in the Middle East and other targets of opportunity. The Therefore, the core goal of the U S. must be to disrupt. dismantle, and defeat at Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan. The ability of extremists in Pakistan to undermine Afghanistan is proven, while insurgency in Afghanistan feeds instability in Pakistan. the threat that al-Qaeda poses to the United States and our allies in. Pakistan – including the possibility of extremists obtaining fissile material – is a I too real. Without more effective action against these groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan will face continuing instability.

Achieving our core goal is vital to U.S. national security II requires, first of ails. Realistic and achievable objectives, These include:

Disrupting      terrorist      networks      in Afghanistan and especially Pakistan to degrade any ability they have to plan and launch international terrorist attacks promoting a more capable, accountable. and effective government In Afghanistan that serves the Afghan people and can eventually function, especially regarding internal security, with limited International support

Developing increasingly self-reliant Afghan security forces that can lead the counterinsurgency and counter terrorism fight with reduced U.S. assistance.

Assisting efforts to enhance civilian control and stable constitutional government in Pakistan and a vibrant economy that provides opportunity for the people of Pakistan.

Involving the international community to actively assist in addressing these objectives for Afghanistan and Pakistan, with an important leadership role for the UN

A Now Way Forward

These are daunting tasks. They require a new way of thinking about the challenges, a wide ranging diplomatic strategy to build support for our efforts, enhanced engagement with the publics in the region and at home. and a realizaton that all elements of international power -diplomatic, informational, military and economic must be brought to bear They will also require a significant change in the management, resources, and locus of our foreign assistance

Our diplomatic effort should be based on building a dear consensus behind the common core goal and supporting objectives. To this end, we will explore creating new diplomatic mechanisms, including establishing a ‘Contact Group” and a regional security and economic,cooperation forum. The trilateral U.S.- Pakistan-Afghanistan effort of February 24-20, 2009 will be continued and broadened, into the next meeting planned for easy May. in Washington

The United States must overcome the ‘trust deficit’ it faces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where many believe that we are not a reliable long-term partner. We must engage the Afghan people in ways that demonstrate our commitment to promoting a legitimate and capable Afghan government with economic progress. We must engage the Pakistani people based on our long-term commitment to helping them build a stable economy, a stronger democracy, and a vibrant. A strategic communications program must be created, made more effective, and resourced. This new strategy will have no chance of success without bettor civil-military-coordination by U.S. agencies. A significant increase of civilian resources, and a new modes of how we allocate and use these resources For too long. U.S. and international assistance efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered from being ill-organized and significantly under-resourced in some areas.

A large portion of development assistance ends up being spent on international consultants and overhead, and virtually no impact assessments have yet been done on our assistance programs We must ensure that our assistance to both Afghanistan and Pakistan is aligned with our core goals and objectives. This will involve assistance that is geared to strengthening government capacity and the message Mat assistance will he limited without the achievement of results Additional assistance to Afghanistan must be accompanied by concrete mechanisms to ensure greater government accountability. In a country that is 70 percent rural, and where the Taliban recruiting base is primarily among under-employed youths, a complete overhaul of our civilian assistance strategy 

such a positive and proactive turn, it would the Mitchell mission for the Middle East, gain stature and come to be acknowledged for results on this score The bottom line is not only as a regional power, that it

that by continuing military action, the US already is, but an Asian power. Helping would overstay its welcome Instead. a break the Afghanistan-Pakistan impasse through move towards a political approach would constructive contribution to a solution for help it disengage militarily, thereby,

the US-led international community can be depriving the nationalist energy from India’s moment of arrival.

Under-gridding the counter it has faced India requires asserting its growing power with a vision that accompanied its freedom struggle and also needs to privilege it pourer.

Outsourcing security in the region to a superpower militates against its emerging

power credentials and negates is ant-colonial heritage 59 Instead, it needs to innovatively take a lead in engaging Pakistan in churning out a regional solution. under perhaps the rubric of the SAARC. Pakistan’s idea of taming the Taliban’s nationalist credentials can be a useful start point. Doing so would make for a ‘win-win’ situation for all. This way Daniel Pipes dug. “George Mitchell’s Return to

Mainstream thinking exemplified by writings of

China’s expanding footprints in Afghan ‘finding answers to deepening threats emanating reconstruction bears mention here. See C. Raja Mohan The Great Game Folio’ Plan B.’ Indian Express. 21 October 2009.


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