Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently concluded visit to Pakistan has left us none the wiser about how the United States and its allies will end the Afghan war. In her public comments, she spoke of action “over the next days and weeks – not months and years, but days and weeks”. She promised the United States would tackle Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan in response to a long-standing Pakistani complaint that Washington had neglected the region when it decided to concentrate its forces in population centres in southern Afghanistan in 2010 (remember “government in a box”?).
Pakistan: Now or Never?
In his book “Where the Wild Frontiers Are: Pakistan and the American Imagination“, an edited collection of his Chapati Mystery blog, historian Manan Ahmed complained about the United States’ past support for former president Pervez Musharraf, and its refusal, at the time to trust Pakistan with democracy. In an entry written in 2007, he described Pakistan as the “the not yet nation” – a country for which democracy might be a good thing in the long run, but was in American eyes not yet ready.
from Afghan Journal:
Last month driving up Afghanistan's magnificent Panjshir valley, you couldn't help thinking if the resurgent Taliban would ever be able to break its defences, both natural and from the Tajik-dominated populace. With its jagged cliffs and plunging valleys, Panjshir has been largely out of bounds for the Taliban, whether during the civil war or in the past 10 years when it has expanded a deadly insurgency against western and Afghan forces across the country. But on Saturday, the insurgents struck, carrying out a suicide bombing at a provincial reconstruction team base housing U.S. and Afghan troops and officials.
In a question and answer session last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about how the United States would balance its need to work with Pakistan while also putting it under pressure to end its alleged support for the Haqqani network.