Showing posts with label AfPak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AfPak. Show all posts

23 February 2018

Renewed Commitment

S. Binodkumar Singh

On February 15, 2018, 20 Islamic State (IS, formerly, Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, also Daesh) terrorisms were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Pacheragam, Kot, Heska Mina and Rawodat Districts of Nangarhar Province.

On February 13, 2018, 43 Taliban terrorists were killed and another 20 were injured in clashes with ANDSF in the Nish District of Kandahar Province.

On February 12, 2018, 20 IS terrorists were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by ANDSF in Rodat, Hasaka Mina and Achin Districts of Nangarhar Province.

20 February 2018

Pakistan borrows $500 million from China to shore up its reserves

In January, the country took a total of $704 million worth of new loans, taking foreign borrowings to $6.6 billion in just seven months of this fiscal year

Pakistan has contracted another foreign commercial loan of $500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to shore up its depleting reserves.

The Express Tribune reported that with the new borrowing the Chinese financial institution's contribution to supporting a strong rupee against the US dollar increased to $1 billion in just three months.

Concerns voiced over ‘hybrid wars’ in region


PESHAWAR: Speakers at a session here on Monday expressed concerns over the ongoing ‘hybrid wars’ at the behest of superpowers in the region.

“No arms, ammunition, tanks and missiles etc are used in hybrid wars by the warring parties but they try to keep each another off-balance,” said Dr Khalilur Rehman.

The in-house discussion on the topic was held at Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar. Dr Khalil said that the idea of hybrid war resided in the grey-zone between black and white, which meant neither war nor peace. He said that it was a low intensity, multidimensional and fifth generation conflict designed to weaken the opponent.

19 February 2018

Pakistan asks Trump to help fund border fence with Afghanistan

Patrick Wintour

Pakistan is building a fence along its border with Afghanistan, and it wants Donald Trump to pay for it – or at least some of it.

The 1,800-mile barrier being constructed will help end “the prolonged agony” of the Afghan war and reduce terrorism inside Pakistan, said Nasir Khan Janjua, the national security adviser to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the prime minister.

Janjua said that Pakistan would like the US president to pay for the barrier – or at least the Afghan side – arguing that the $532m (£378m) price tag will be a lot cheaper than the $45bn annual estimated cost of the Afghan war.

America Has Turned a Blind Eye to the Taliban's Territorial Gains

Daniel R. DePetris

There is a gap between the rosy assessments offered by U.S. commanders and the media reports that have trickled out of Afghanistan.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam War, a ten-part volume diving into one of the most unpopular wars in American history, won plaudits from a lot of historians and film critics. The documentary was a modern-day investigation across multiple domains of the conflict, from the normal soldier from Missouri who enlisted in the military to the anti-war protester who campaigned to end America’s involvement.

18 February 2018

Pakistan to send troops to Saudi Arabia to train and advise


Reuters Staff, 

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan is sending troops to ally Saudi Arabia on a “training and advise mission”, the military said, three years after it decided against sending soldiers to join the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

The exact role the troops will play was unclear, but a statement from the army’s press wing on Thursday stressed they “will not be employed outside” the kingdom.

Pakistan’s retired army chief, General Raheel Sharif, commands the new Saudi-led Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism, though it was not immediately clear whether the new troops would participate in that coalition.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad? It’s Complicated


Bottom Line: Current U.S.-Pakistan relations remain strained as the U.S. maintains that Pakistan’s security and intelligence services are doing the minimum to hunt America’s militant enemies within its borders. Pakistani officials have told The Cipher Brief that they have been searching for a way to restart relations despite public humiliation by President Donald Trump earlier this year. Each side wants to keep the other from seeking alternative support – with China wooing Pakistan, and the U.S. growing closer to India.

Background: U.S-Pakistan bilateral ties have been a rollercoaster from the start.

US Demands Pakistan Arrest “Hit List” of Top Haqqani & Taliban Leaders


KIMBERLY DOZIER 

The Trump administration has given Pakistan a new “hit list” of nearly a dozen top militants to detain, to show its willingness to fight terrorism, but the U.S. won’t share intelligence that would help lead to their capture, and has snubbed Pakistani requests to meet CIA chief Mike Pompeo in Washington, a senior Pakistani official tells The Cipher Brief.

In response, senior U.S. administration officials would only say that Washington has asked Pakistan to take “specific” action against the Taliban and the Haqqani network, which have been blamed for recent violent attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan. The officials tell The Cipher Brief that Pakistan’s intelligence service and military have failed to sever ties with either militant group and continue to protect their top leaders within Pakistani territory.

Why Trump’s Troubling Pakistan Policy Dooms Afghanistan Peace

By Touqir Hussain

The administration’s approach to Islamabad undermines potential solutions in Afghanistan.

For a 16-year-long war in Afghanistan, whose failure lies in an endless list of complex causes – including flawed strategy, incoherent war aims, return of the warlords, rise of fiefdoms and ungoverned spaces, corruption, power struggles and a competitive and conflict-prone regional environment – U.S. President Donald Trump has one simple solution: get rid of the Haqqani Network and Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. And if Pakistan does not oblige, cut off aid.

17 February 2018

Relations between Washington and Islamabad? It’s Complicated



Bottom Line: Current U.S.-Pakistan relations remain strained as the U.S. maintains that Pakistan’s security and intelligence services are doing the minimum to hunt America’s militant enemies within its borders. Pakistani officials have told The Cipher Brief that they have been searching for a way to restart relations despite public humiliation by President Donald Trump earlier this year. Each side wants to keep the other from seeking alternative support – with China wooing Pakistan, and the U.S. growing closer to India.

Pentagon thinks China could be a partner in Afghanistan

By: Kyle Rempfer 

As bombing in Northern Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province dials in on a little known terror group called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), U.S. officials are eyeing a potential partnership with China.

ETIM operates near the Afghan border with China and Tajikistan, and has been highlighted as a security concern by the Chinese government.

In a series of U.S. airstrikes, Taliban training camps and fighting positions that supported terrorist operations inside Afghanistan, as well as ETIM operations across the border, were destroyed, according to a press statement from NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

How should India deal with Pakistan?


'We need to be in a perpetual state of aggression, and able to swiftly change the goal posts to keep Pakistan in a state of imbalance,' argues Sanjeev Nayyar.

Over the weekend, terrorists attacked the Sunjwan army cantonment in Jammu, and six army personnel made the supreme sacrifice. Soon after, on Monday, February 12, the CRPF camp in Srinagar was attacked, in which one one jawan was killed.

16 February 2018

The Major Flaws in Afghanistan’s Intelligence War

Javid Ahmad
The National Interest

As the dust settles after the latest string of ghastly bombings in Kabul that took nearly 150 lives, including foreigners, the failure to prevent the attacks should be debated through one important prism: fixing the Afghan intelligence.

By any measure, the new wave of violence across Afghanistan is a forceful response by the Taliban—and, arguably, by Pakistan—to President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy, indicating that any American attempt to pressure them is not only ill-advised but it would fail. For Afghanistan, the recent spate of violence signifies important intelligence failures.

In Afghanistan, Hard Is Not Hopeless—but Time Is Running Out

By Mike Gallagher

Two weekends ago, a Taliban bombing killed more than 100 and injured over 200 more in Afghanistan. The bombing took place in the heart of Kabul in an area considered among the country’s most secure. Along with a recent flurry of terrorist violence, the attack demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges facing the coalition effort in Afghanistan.

When he announced a new way forward in South Asia, the President made clearthat he was going against his initial instincts to withdraw American forces. Instead, after listening to his senior advisors and military leaders, he decided to modestly expand our footprint in the country. In light of the President’s reservations, this may be our last chance to get Afghanistan right. Seventeen years into the longest war in our nation’s history, we still have enduring interests in South Asia—but securing them requires an honest look at our goals and the resources we are willing to spend in pursuit of those goals.

Chinese Projects in Pakistan Prove Tempting Targets for Terrorist Groups

By: Sudha Ramachandran

On December 8, 2017, the Chinese embassy in Islamabad warned its nationals of possible terrorist attacks targeting “Chinese-invested organizations and Chinese citizens” in Pakistan (Dawn, December 8, 2017). It gave no details of how it had come by this intelligence or who the potential attackers might be. However, attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan are not uncommon, and a range of possible actors have put China in their crosshairs.

What Is China’s Military Doing on the Afghan-Tajik Border?

By: Paul Goble

Perhaps few places on earth are as wrapped in mystery and intrigue as the northern reaches of Afghanistan, where, 150 years ago, Russia and the United Kingdom played the great game against one another and where, most recently, Moscow and the West were locked in geopolitical competition with each other and then with insurgent Islam. Now, China has entered the fray as a major player. Although, as has historically been the case with most activities in this almost inaccessible region, Chinese actions thus far have allowed for ample misrepresentations or denials.

15 February 2018

The Major Flaws in Afghanistan's Intelligence War

Javid Ahmad

As the dust settles after the latest string of ghastly bombings in Kabul that took nearly 150 lives, including foreigners, the failure to prevent the attacks should be debated through one important prism: fixing the Afghan intelligence.

By any measure, the new wave of violence across Afghanistan is a forceful response by the Taliban—and, arguably, by Pakistan—to President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy, indicating that any American attempt to pressure them is not only ill-advised but it would fail. For Afghanistan, the recent spate of violence signifies important intelligence failures.

Pashtun Uprising 3.0

by Asim Yousafzai

Pakistan's relationship with its tribesmen along the Afghan border can best be described as transactional and the events of the 70-year history of the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland has just proved that.

It was 1948, a million people were killed and 15 million displaced in the bloody partition riots; Pakistan was less than a year old when its charismatic leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah decided to take the State of Jammu & Kashmir by force. Regular army of the nascent state was ill-organized and ill-equipped to engage in a full-scale war. The Pashtun tribes from the then Northwest Frontier Province were called upon and they did not hesitate to oblige. The tribesmen readily formed militias to invade Kashmir.

14 February 2018

Can the SCO Bring India and Pakistan Together?

By Sabena Siddiqi

Since Pakistan and India’s formal induction into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) last year, the group now represents 40 percent of the world’s population and almost 20 percent of its GDP. Bringing these two South Asian neighbors into the folds of the SCO in June 2017 initially gave rise to conjecture as to whether they could coexist. On a positive note, in the SCO the participation of all member states in its activities is mandatory so interaction and dialogue is unavoidable. Considering the tense relations between India and Pakistan, it should be interesting to see them participating in multilateral military exercises under the auspices of the SCO, as the memorandum of obligations makes joint military exercises compulsory.

How Can America Change Pakistani Behavior?


BRAHMA CHELLANEY

The US has plenty of incentive to put pressure on Pakistan, a country that has long pretended to be an ally, even as it continues to aid the militant groups fighting and killing US soldiers in neighboring Afghanistan. In fact, it is partly because of that aid that Afghanistan is a failing state, leaving the US mired in its longest-ever war.

US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to freeze some $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan as punishment for the country’s refusal to crack down on transnational terrorist groups is a step in the right direction. But more steps are needed.