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Mattis says will try to work with Pakistan 'one more time'

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Agent_47, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

    Aug 3, 2011
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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday the United States would try “one more time” to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan before President Donald Trump would turn to options to address Islamabad’s alleged support for militant groups.

    Relations between the two countries have been frayed over the past decade. While officials have long questioned the role Pakistan has played in Afghanistan, the comments by Mattis are likely to cause concern in Islamabad and within the Pakistan military.

    “We need to try one more time to make this strategy work with them, by, with and through the Pakistanis, and if our best efforts fail, the president is prepared to take whatever steps are necessary,” Mattis said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

    Mattis added that he would be traveling to Islamabad soon, but did not give more details.

    Reuters first reported that possible Trump administration responses being discussed include expanding U.S. drone strikes and perhaps eventually downgrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

    When asked by a lawmaker whether revoking of Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally was amongst the options being considered to deal with Islamabad, Mattis said: “I am sure it will be.”

    In a separate Senate hearing on Tuesday, the top U.S. military officer said he believed Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, had ties to militant groups.

    “It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups,” Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    The Pakistan embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The United States in 2012 designated the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terrorist organization. The year before, U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, caused a stir when he told Congress that the Haqqani network was a “veritable arm” of the ISI directorate.

    Pakistan argues that it has done a great deal to help the United States in tracking down terrorists and points out that it has suffered hundreds of deaths in Islamist militant attacks in response to its crackdowns.

    U.S. officials have told Reuters that the United States will send about 3,500 additional troops to Afghanistan.

    Dunford said that the current cost for the United States in Afghanistan was about $12.5 billion a year, and the new strategy would cost an additional $1.1 billion.

    sangos and Lion of Rajputana like this.
  2. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2016
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    Sure, some things have to be done, even if they are just for show and it is known before even attempting them that they will end in failure. Just like Modi tried to work with Pakistan by making the unannounced visit to the Sharif family wedding, let the Trump Administration make an attempt of its own to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan.

    But once this attempt predictably fails, I hope Trump and "Mad Dog" Mattis are ready to set aside the carrot and try out the stick on Pakistan. Compared to previous administrations, this administration seems well positioned to deviate from routine US policy vis a vis AfPak and actually put Pakistan in its place, partially due to the point in time when they have been elected (2016, instead of 2000 or 2008), and partially due to their unconventional and maverick nature.
    Angel Eyes likes this.
  3. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Apr 25, 2013
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    Get their nukes Mattis.

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