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Pressure groups and stability of regime in pakistan

Print Print President Donald Trump deserves praise for his new, long-overdue Afghanistan policy, which was unveiled after a torturous, months-long debate.

The new policy moved beyond specifying future US troop numbers to defining a larger strategic end state in Afghanistan. Although many Afghanistan watchers have criticized the new policy as a status quo, it was welcomed in Kabul.

Afghan leaders have especially applauded the US shift from a calendar-based approach to one based on conditions on the ground, although those conditions need to be properly defined to ensure the United States does not sign on to a forever war. More crucially, the new Afghan policy makes one striking departure from past US policies: In the past year, Pakistan has incarnated its longstanding Afghan policy, directed from its military headquarters in Rawalpindi, to prop up the Afghan Taliban as a means of extorting concessions from Kabul or even creating a pliant state by toppling the pro-Western Afghan regime.

Finally, an Afghanistan Strategy that Puts Pressure on Pakistan

In his speech, President Trump encouraged the Taliban to engage in peace talks, but he was right to not give up US military efforts against the Taliban that would eventually pressure them to the negotiating table. These elements view destruction in Afghanistan as power and leverage and perpetuate their odious and predatory behavior through using terrorism and violence as a tool.

  1. These elements view destruction in Afghanistan as power and leverage and perpetuate their odious and predatory behavior through using terrorism and violence as a tool. Ashfaq Kayani, the top commander of the armed forces, has honored his pledge to respect civilian rule.
  2. Even if Rawalpindi changes its posture towards the Taliban, the shadow of history in Afghan-Pakistan relations would likely hamper the policy shift. More vitally, the mini-surge would boost the current Afghan train, advise, and assist mission and help with building the offensive capabilities of Afghan forces, especially the Afghan special forces.
  3. Unfortunately, the government will be too busy fighting for its survival to devote much energy to heading off a crisis.

The end result is that the Taliban today are increasingly energized by their recent territorial gains in Afghanistan and believe that time is on their side. But, on the other hand, there are also elements within Pakistan that are concerned about the infusion of radicalism into the ranks of its powerful military.

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Unfortunately, these are minority voices that go unnoticed and often do not receive the kind of attention their concerns merit. Meanwhile, the Taliban has not publicly sought a political deal, and it is unlikely for the group to sue for peace. A cursory look at past fruitless peace efforts shows that these have failed because of bad faith, miscalculation, or bad timing. There is also another problem.

The Taliban has no single pro-peace voice or a messenger who could authoritatively speak for the group to negotiate peace. There is also no Taliban leader who can coalesce the entire group around a political deal and deliver on it. Under such conditions, the new US policy and the mini-surge of nearly 4,000 additional US troops would be crucial in tilting the ongoing Afghan stalemate in favor of the Afghan government.

More vitally, the mini-surge would boost the current Afghan train, advise, and assist mission and help with building the offensive capabilities of Afghan forces, especially the Afghan special forces.

The Afghan government has already announced plans to turn its special forces division into a corps, and the mini-surge would help with doubling the number of Afghan special forces to 30,000 troops.

Additional US troops would also play a pivotal role in bolstering the Afghan air force and improving the leadership and intelligence collection capacities of Afghan forces. Many Pakistani political parties repeatedly call for a jihad against the United States in Afghanistan.

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  • But, on the other hand, there are also elements within Pakistan that are concerned about the infusion of radicalism into the ranks of its powerful military;
  • The end result is that the Taliban today are increasingly energized by their recent territorial gains in Afghanistan and believe that time is on their side;
  • Elements in the mainstream media are also raising paranoia and anti-Americanism among the people, while openly advocating on behalf of the insurgency next door;
  • At the same time, the underlying thinking in Rawalpindi may well be that it can still achieve its traditional goals through different means, perhaps by even creating another proxy group.

At the same time, the underlying thinking in Rawalpindi may well be that it can still achieve its traditional goals through different means, perhaps by even creating another proxy group.

Even if Rawalpindi changes its posture towards the Taliban, the shadow of history in Afghan-Pakistan relations would likely hamper the policy shift. Second, the mainstream media in Pakistan, rather than being a force broadly supportive of stability in Afghanistan, is often the opposite.

A broad cross-section of Pakistani media social and print frequently argue that the United States has failed in Afghanistan and that it should withdraw its troops.

  • Like Zardari, he too is closely identified with the problem of endemic corruption in Pakistan, and the revelations contained in the Wikileaks documents did little to improve his public image;
  • A cursory look at past fruitless peace efforts shows that these have failed because of bad faith, miscalculation, or bad timing;
  • In the past year, Pakistan has incarnated its longstanding Afghan policy, directed from its military headquarters in Rawalpindi, to prop up the Afghan Taliban as a means of extorting concessions from Kabul or even creating a pliant state by toppling the pro-Western Afghan regime;
  • These elements view destruction in Afghanistan as power and leverage and perpetuate their odious and predatory behavior through using terrorism and violence as a tool;
  • Ashfaq Kayani, the top commander of the armed forces, has honored his pledge to respect civilian rule;
  • Double-digit inflation will persist in 2011, reflecting the combined effects of flood-related supply shortages, the depreciation of the rupee and higher commodities prices, and heavy spending and domestic borrowing by the government.

Elements in the mainstream media are also raising paranoia and anti-Americanism among the people, while openly advocating on behalf of the insurgency next door. While there may be a realization in Rawalpindi that its current Afghan strategy has not succeeded, there are no tangible signs of an actual policy shift. Future tactical concessions from Pakistan should be taken with a grain of salt. Follow him on Twitter: The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Point, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or any agency of the US government.