Need for U.S. Leadership on Afghanistan-Pakistan Reconciliation

Lisa Curtis /

A front-page story on Afghan-Pakistani relations in today’s Washington Post indicates that Afghanistan and Pakistan are discussing a peace settlement for Afghanistan. While a genuine thaw in relations between the two countries would be welcome, the idea that the U.S. would take a back seat in any effort to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan defies logic. The U.S. has not lost over 1,000 U.S. soldiers in battle and invested billions of U.S. dollars in Afghanistan only to allow Pakistan to re-install its violent proxies there.

President Karzai is weaker than ever and any notion that he would be able to hold his own in negotiations with the Pakistani military does not stand up to scrutiny.  According to today’s Washington Post article (and other sources), the Pakistani military is offering to mediate a solution by bringing the deadly Jalaluddin Haqqani network into the negotiations.  (Reminder: Jalaluddin Haqqani’s forces in coordination with Pakistan’s intelligence serve (ISI) bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July 2008, killing two senior Indian officials and over 50 Afghan civilians). (more…)