body#layout #main-top { display:none; } -->

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Pentagon's new strategy in Afghanistan

A classified Pentagon report urges President Barack Obama to target the Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctuaries inside the Pakistani territories.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff's report, which has yet to be presented to the White House, calls on Obama to make a more narrowly-focused effort to root out militant strongholds along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, AP reported Wednesday.

The report will also suggest Obama to de-emphasize democracy-building in Afghanistan and instead concentrating more on targeting the Taliban inside the war-torn country.

The military commanders' recommendations are part of a broad policy reassessment to be considered by the White House.

It would take several weeks before the Obama administration rolled out its long-term strategy for Afghanistan, senior officials said on the condition of anonymity

Meanwhile, Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman said the secret assessment was just one of several pieces of advice being offered by the military to help the Obama administration in Afghanistan.

"When you talk about Afghanistan, you can't help but also recognize the fact that the border region with Pakistan is obviously a contributing factor to the stability and security of Afghanistan," Whitman said.

The tribal regions along the shared border between Pakistan and Afghanistan became safe havens for militants after the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban regime, sending insurgents across the border.

The Pentagon has used this as a pretext to launch drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal regions -- a move that has increased tension between Islamabad and Washington and has triggered anti-American sentiments among the Pakistani people. More