Thursday, December 16, 2010
Afghanistan-Pakistan Review Charts Progress in Strategy
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
A summary of the report reaffirms the strategy’s “core goal” to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat al-Qaida in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and prevent its return to either country.
Specific components of the strategy are working well, the summary notes, particularly in weakening al-Qaida’s senior leadership in
and arresting the Taliban’s momentum in Pakistan . Afghanistan
The challenge remaining, the review summary states, is “to make our gains durable and sustainable.”
Durable progress rests on denying al-Qaida safe haven in western
and restoring basic stability and security in Pakistan , according to the review. Afghanistan
The surge of
and international military and civilian resources beginning in July has enabled progress and is “setting the conditions to begin the responsible reduction of U.S. forces in July 2011,” the summary states. U.S.
Though weakened, al-Qaida remains a threat to the
and its interests, and United States and Pakistan continue to be the operational base for the group responsible for the 9/11 attacks, the summary’s authors wrote. Afghanistan is central to Pakistan efforts to defeat al-Qaida and related groups, and there has been “substantial but uneven” progress in relations with that country over the past year, they added. U.S.
“We worked jointly in the last year to disrupt the threat posed by al-Qaida, and
has made progress against extremist safe havens, taking action in six of seven agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas,” the summary’s authors wrote. Pakistan
The review recommends greater cooperation with
along the border with Pakistan and advises linking effective development strategies with military action as the best means to deny insurgent safe havens. Afghanistan
“In 2011,” the summary says, “we must strengthen our dialogue with both
and Pakistan on regional stability,” a dialogue that will continue in part through meetings between the secretary of state and foreign ministers from both countries. Afghanistan
“Moreover, at the recent NATO Lisbon Summit, we forged a broad Afghan and international consensus, agreeing on a path to complete transition by the end of 2014,” the summary’s authors wrote. “Even after we draw down our combat forces, the
will continue to support U.S. ’s development and security as a strategic partner, just as the NATO-Afghanistan partnership affirms the broader and enduring international community support to Afghanistan .” Afghanistan
Progress is most evident in the gains Afghan and coalition forces are making in clearing the Taliban heartland of
and Kandahar Helmand provinces, according to the review summary, and in the significantly increased size and improved capability of Afghan security forces.
“ISAF and the Afghan government have also adopted a robust partnering plan that has accelerated tactical-level development of Afghan forces’ leadership and units,” although significant development challenges remain,” the summary notes.
“Consolidating those gains will require that we make more progress with