Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brutal Haqqani Clan Bedevils U.S. in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

Brutal Haqqani Clan Bedevils U.S. in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

...The new urgency for a political settlement in Afghanistan has further limited Washington’s options for fighting the Haqqani network. During high-level discussions last year, Obama administration officials debated listing the group as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” which allows for some assets to be frozen and could dissuade donors from supporting the group. While some military commanders pushed for the designation, the administration ultimately decided that such a move might alienate the Haqqanis and drive them away from future negotiations.
Officials chose to take the more incremental step of naming individual Haqqani leaders as terrorists, including Badruddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani. Senior American officials said there was once again a fierce debate inside the Obama administration about whether to put the entire group on the terrorist list.
But as Washington struggles to broker an endgame for the Afghan war, there is widespread doubt about whether the Haqqanis will negotiate, and whether their patrons in Islamabad will even let them. After a decade of war, there is a growing sense among America’s diplomats, soldiers and spies that the United States is getting out of Afghanistan without ever figuring out how a maddeningly complex game is played.
“Is there any formula for Pakistan to agree to stop supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan and instead help broker and be satisfied with a political settlement?” asked Karl W. Eikenberry, who served as both America’s top military commander in Afghanistan and its ambassador to the country.
“We don’t know the answer to that question,” he said.

-- bth: this article is worth reading in full. You step back when you see an article like this in the NYT and ask yourself who is it that has a burr up their ass over Haqqani all the sudden? This network has been killing hundreds of Americans not counting Afghans and been in deep collusion with ISI for decades. Now, now we read about it in depth in the NYTs? What has changed? Oh and by the by it has financial interests in the two ammonium nitrate plants in Pakistan that provide the feedstock for the IEDs that have accounted, for what, 85% of the US casualties? And why haven't we put this group on the terror list? Why are these plants still functioning? Wasn't this the same family that shelled Kabul to ruin in the 90s? And now, in 2011, we are debating whether they should be on a terror list and have given up on the Pakistani military's ability or willingness to do anything about them. We sure send a lot of good Americans to war without plan or objective. One wonders what a draft and a war tax would do to our strategy? I suspect it would bring this nonsense to an end very quickly.

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