Progress in Afghanistan, strides to make in Pakistan

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The Afghan Local Police program – whereby U.S. and coalition special operations forces live among the local population and train the local Afghan people selected by the village elders to defend the village – has demonstrated some important early successes.

Coalition and Afghan forces have successfully diminished Taliban havens in southern Afghanistan. As a result, the Taliban are increasingly focusing their efforts in eastern Afghanistan. Consequently, the Pakistan safe havens for the Haqqani Group and the Afghan Taliban Quetta Shura pose a greater threat than ever. These safe havens allow those insurgents to cross the border to attack U.S., Afghan and coalition forces and then return to their sanctuaries.

While the Pakistani Army takes on terrorist groups within their borders that attack them – often at great cost in Pakistani lives – they have not taken on the Haqqani Group and the Quetta Shura. We told the Pakistanis that we believe that their working to eliminate those safe havens is essential to a closer relationship between the United States and Pakistan.