McCain calls for long-term US commitment in Pakistan and Afghanistan

November 14th, 2007 - 2:23 am ICT by admin  
In an article that appears in the Foreign Affairs magazine under the title ‘An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom’, McCain urges the US to help Pakistan resist forces of extremism by making a long-term commitment to country.

He also calls for enhancing Pakistan’s ability to act against terrorists and to promote formal school education to all children.

He claims that the evolving situation in Iraq would affect Afghanistan, and notes that while there has been progress in some fields in Afghanistan, the “recent resurgence of the Taliban may force Afghanistan to revert to its pre-9/11 role as a sanctuary for terrorists with global reach.”

The US’ recommitment to Afghanistan must include increasing NATO forces, suspending the debilitating restrictions on when and how those forces can fight, and expanding the training and the equipping of the Afghan National Army, he says.

Senator Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, writes that “the forgotten frontline in the war on terror is Afghanistan,” where the military effort must be reinforced.

“The Taliban cannot be allowed to regain power in Afghanistan - if they return, al Qaeda will return with them. Yet, current US policies have actually weakened President Hamid Karzai’s Government and allowed the Taliban to retake many areas, especially in the south.”

The Daily Times quoted Hillary as saying that a largely unimpeded heroin trade finances the very Taliban fighters and al Qaeda terrorists who are attacking American troops.

Hillary argued that redoubling US efforts with Pakistan would not only help root out terrorist elements there, but also signal to “our NATO partners that the war in Afghanistan and the broader fight against extremism in South Asia are battles that we can and must win. Yet, we cannot succeed unless we design a strategy that treats the entire region as an interconnected whole, where crises overlap with one another and the danger of a chain reaction of disasters is real,” she added. (ANI)

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