Policy & Strategy

US, Pakistan develop new border security plan

That new strategy will target efforts by the Taliban and affiliated terror groups based on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border from moving men and weapons into either country, a Pentagon official told reporters on Wednesday. 

{mosads}Border clashes between insurgents and U.S. forces have produced some of the heaviest fighting since the Obama administration surged more than 20,000 U.S. troops into the southern part of the country in 2009.

Most recently, members of the Pakistani-based Haqqani Network launched a cross-border attack against a hotel outside of Kabul in June. 

Afghan National Security Forces and Haqqani gunmen exchanged heavy fire during the 12-hour standoff, which ended with nearly 20 Afghan civilians dead.

However, Islamabad claims that units of the Afghan National Army have also been carrying out their own attacks against targets inside Pakistan. 

Officials from the Afghan Ministry of Defense have repeatedly denied such claims, stating the Afghan army has not carried out any recent operations in the border region. 

That said, the DOD official said on Wednesday, the new strategy being border security strategy being hatched between Washington and Islamabad would not open the door for U.S. or Afghan forces to cross into Pakistan. 

The plan, he added, would focus strictly on the proposal for “working in cooperation on each side of the border.” AOL Defense first reported news of the new U.S.-Pakistan border deal. 

The issue of border security has consistently been a sore subject for both the United States and Pakistan, particularly as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan over the next two years. 

Cross-border attacks were at the top of the agenda during a scheduled meeting between Gen. John Allen, the top American commander in Afghanistan, and Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Kayani in June. 

The growing animosity between Washington and Islamabad over border security, along with the issue of U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, showed signs of alleviating in July.

That is when Pakistan decided to re-open key supply lines into Afghanistan to U.S. and coalition forces. As part of that deal, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a rare apology for the errant air raid by U.S. and NATO warplanes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November. 

While the White House and the Pentagon have repeatedly expressed their regret for the air raid, no one from the Obama administration had formally or informally apologized for the attack until Clinton.

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