Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy [November 21, 2008]   [open pdf - 403KB]

"Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report will be updated as events warrant. [...] The upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistan side of the border is harming the U.S.-led stabilization mission in Afghanistan, by all accounts. U.S. commanders in Afghanistan attribute much of the deterioration in security conditions in the south and east over the past year to increased militant infiltration from Pakistan. U.S. policymakers are putting in place a series of steps to try to address the deficiencies of the Afghan government and other causes of support for Afghan Taliban militants, but they are also undertaking substantial new security measures to stop the infiltration. A key, according to U.S. commanders, is to reduce militant infiltration into Afghanistan from Pakistan. To do so, U.S. General David McKiernan, the overall commander in Afghanistan, is 'redefining' the Afghan battlefield to include the Pakistan border regions, and U.S. forces are becoming somewhat more aggressive in trying to disrupt, from the Afghan side of the border, militant operational preparations and encampments on the Pakistani side of the border. At the same time, Gen. McKiernan and other U.S. commanders are trying to rebuild a stalled Afghanistan-Pakistan-U.S./NATO military coordination process, building intelligence and information sharing centers, and attempting to build greater trust among the senior ranks of the Pakistani military."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34763
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