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Question of the Day
The Obama administration will identify Pakistan’s continuing support for terrorist havens and the absence of good governance in Afghanistan as key factors that are undermining U.S. and coalition efforts in Afghanistan.
The White House will make public its review of Afghan strategy on Thursday.
“We have seen, through counterterrorism, success at degrading senior al Qaeda leaders,” Mr. Gibbs said.
Coalition forces hope to hand over control to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.
U.S. officials and analysts say the review will provide no surprises.
A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of the matter, said it is no secret that Pakistan continues to support terrorist groups, including the Afghan Taliban, members of al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network.
“Pakistan’s calculus has not changed throughout the last nine years, and until that does, we are not going to see any progress,” said Jeffrey Dressler, a research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
Pakistan’s lawless tribal provinces, along the border with Afghanistan, serve as havens for the militants. Several top terrorists have been killed in unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, strikes in this region over the past year.
On a visit to Pakistan this week, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed what he described as “strategic impatience” with Islamabad’s inability to sever links to the militants.
Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute, said there have been “considerable changes” on the ground in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in the south and east, where the coalition forces have stepped up their offensive.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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