The U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 aroused anger in Pakistan over unilateral American military actions. But bilateral tensions have been growing for years over U.S. drone strikes against Pakistani targets – and have now reached a crisis stage, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
In a little-noticed policy shift, the Obama administration renounced “permanent” U.S. bases in Afghanistan, addressing a central demand of the Taliban. Its leaders have signaled that peace talks are possible if the United States agrees to pull out its troops, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
Anti-American Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has stood in the way of proposals to extend U.S. troop presence in Iraq beyond the end of this year, and some of his backers have attacked American forces as a reminder of the looming deadline. But Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service that Sadr may be sending mixed signals.
As chief commander in the Afghan War, Gen. David Petraeus has been desperate to show evidence that his latest “surge” succeeded in degrading the Taliban fighting strength. However, recently compiled figures show more attacks by the Taliban and higher U.S. casualties, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who is seen as a shoo-in to become the next CIA director, appears to have wildly exaggerated the number of Taliban fighters captured last year by padding the totals with Afghans released after being cleared of Taliban ties, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
Before his murder last month, Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad detailed how al-Qaeda leaders used the 9/11 attacks to induce “cowboy” President George W. Bush to blunder foolishly into the invasions of two Muslim countries, thus advancing an al-Qaeda strategy to discredit the region’s U.S.-connected leaders, reports Gareth Porter.
The killing of Osama bin Laden and reports of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have raised U.S. hopes that the long war in Afghanistan might finally be heading toward a conclusion, but some sources suggest that there is less to these openings than meet the eye, Gareth Porter reports.
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that American success in the Afghan War requires Pakistani help in rooting out Taliban safe havens along the border but that Pakistan is unwilling to turn against its longtime Taliban allies – a conundrum that continues to bedevil the Obama administration and U.S. military commanders, writes Gareth Porter in this…