• Addressing the Terrorist Threat Emanating from Pakistan

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was right when he recently told an audience at the Atlantic Council that Pakistan’s leadership must eliminate terrorist safe havens, warning that a failure to do so could cause them to “lose control of their own country.”

    Tillerson said that the US-Pakistan relationship has “really deteriorated” over the past decade and that “now we’re engaged with Pakistan in a conversation to ensure our expectations of them are clear, that our concern is really about Pakistan’s stability.”

    “Pakistan has allowed so many terrorist organizations to find safe haven within its territories, and these organizations are growing in size and influence, that at some point, I have said to the leadership of Pakistan, you may be the target, and they turn their attention from Kabul and decide they like Islamabad as a target better,” the secretary of state said at the Atlantic Council on December 12.

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  • Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy Turns Up the Heat on Pakistan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan effectively puts the onus on Pakistan to end its support for terrorists.

    If this strategy is to succeed, the United States must “adopt a very serious policy toward Pakistan,” said C. Christine Fair, the provost’s distinguished associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

    In an August 21 speech, Trump said Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.”

    “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting... that will have to change,” Trump added.

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  • Trump Misses an Opportunity in Afghanistan

    US President Donald J. Trump should have stuck to his original line of questioning of his national security team before sharing his new “strategy” on Afghanistan and South Asia: what outcome are we seeking, and how will we get there?

    Trump’s August 21 speech, in which he outlined his policy on Afghanistan, exemplified the truth of Lewis Carroll’s quotation from Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

    Long on assertions, but short on specifics, Trump’s speech failed to lay out a clear roadmap to “victory” that is based on history and regional ground realities. Indeed, Trump did not identify any benchmarks for actions to be taken by Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, or even the United States.

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  • Trump’s Commitment to Afghanistan

    US president’s policy will send a clear message to the region, said Atlantic Council’s James B. Cunningham

    US President Donald J. Trump’s approach to Afghanistan—marked by an indefinite US troop presence—sends a clear signal of the United States’ commitment to ending the war in that country, said James B. Cunningham, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    “This is the first time that it is clear that the United States and its international partners are in this for the long term, and that we are going to make our future decisions based on events that are happening on the ground and in the region and not against a timeline,” he said.

    Trump’s August 21 speech, in which he outlined his policy on Afghanistan, also sends an important message to Pakistan, which, by providing safe haven to terrorist groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani Network, has been an impediment to ending the nearly sixteen-year-old war in Afghanistan, said Cunningham.

    “One of the things that has impeded the effort to get Pakistan to act has been Pakistan’s own doubts about what the American goals and commitments are in the longer term. Now that the president has spoken to that that should be the basis for approaching them with a different set of choices,” he said.

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  • Nawaz Joins CGTN America to Discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan's Reaction to Trump's Speech

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  • Pakistan’s Reform Moment

    Pakistan is once again in the news with the dismissal of its prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, by the supreme court over a corruption case. This development is not unusual in a country with a history of democratically-elected governments being hobbled by incompetence and corruption. Pakistan has also seen three military coups and has been under military rule for several decades since gaining independence in 1947.  

    Why do democratically-elected governments fail in Pakistan? Part of the answer lies in the fact that Pakistan’s political parties are dominated by dynasties and lack adequate internal processes, management, and the capacity to develop policy.

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  • The Disqualification of Nawaz Sharif: Will Pakistan’s Courts Drain the Swamp?

    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ouster by the supreme court is a rare example of a country’s leader being held accountable for corruption, but it has also created the possibility of instability in this South Asian nation that is a vital partner in the United States’ counterterrorism efforts.

    On July 28, Pakistan’s supreme court disqualified Sharif ruling that he had been dishonest by not disclosing earnings from a Dubai-based company in his nomination papers filed at the time of the 2013 general election. The court recommended corruption cases be filed against Sharif, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz; his son-in-law, Capt. Muhammad Safdar; his two sons Hassan and Hussain; and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

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  • Ahmad in National Interest: America Must Confront Pakistan's Support of Afghan-Based Terrorism

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  • Kampani and Gopalaswamy: How to Normalize Pakistan's Nuclear Program

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  • Trump Will Need to Deepen US Engagement in Afghanistan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s America First approach will have to take a back seat when it comes to Afghanistan.

    As the Trump administration wrestles with a decision on whether to send several thousand additional US troops to Afghanistan in an effort to end a fifteen-year-old war and make peace with the Taliban, there is a firm belief in policy circles that there is a critical need for the United States to deepen its engagement in that country.

    Yet, with Trump there is a “real possibility that the United States, if it is not successful within some acceptable period of time, could choose to reduce its commitment to Afghanistan and ultimately withdraw,” said Ashley Tellis, Tata chair for strategic affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “If that outcome occurs the door will be open to internecine regional competition in Afghanistan, which will only make circumstances in Afghanistan worse,” he added.

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