Serial No. 111-161: Afghanistan and Pakistan: Understanding a Complex Threat Environment, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, March 4, 2009   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of John F. Tierney: "This hearing aims to step behind the headlines and allow subcommittee members and the public at large to hear from top independent experts about the threats faced in these countries. The goal here is to try to bring as much clarity as possible; in other words, to try to make some sense of the swirling fog. After all, before being able to answer the question of what we should do, we first need to have a solid foundation of knowledge about what we are dealing with. In Afghanistan, we must be able to distinguish between and identify the goals of the Afghan Taliban, the drug cartels and the various warlords. What is the relative threat, if any, of each to the U.S. national security interest and to the interest of others? It is important to determine any role player by al Qaeda in the Afghan insurgency and know who exactly is crossing the border from Pakistan to join the Afghan insurgency. In Pakistan we must understand just who the so-called Pakistani Taliban is, who makes up the insurgencies in Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas in the Swat Valley. We need information about whether parties are giving al Qaeda hospitality and protection and any threats posed by Lashkar-e-Taibe is essential, as is an understanding of how various groups in Afghanistan may interrelate and interact with the groups in Pakistan. We will have an opportunity today to explore the myriad interrelationships, as well as ideological, religious, and political agendas of these groups." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Peter Bergen, Joshua T. White, Paul R. Pillar, Paul W. Hodes, and John F. Tierney.

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Serial No. 111-161
Public Domain
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