Donald Trump seen hardening line toward Pakistan after Afghan war review

The administration of President Donald Trump seems intent on tightening his grip on Pakistan to crack down on Pakistani militants launching attacks in Afghanistan, US officials told Reuters. Possible responses from the Trump administration being discussed include the extension of United States drone attacks, the reorientation or retention of some aid to Pakistan, and perhaps degrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-ally To NATO.
However, some US officials are skeptical of prospects of success, arguing that years of previous US efforts to curb Pakistan’s support for militant groups have failed and that strengthening ties with India, the archbishop of Pakistan, Undermines the possibilities of a breakthrough. With Islamabad. US officials say they are seeking closer cooperation with Pakistan, not a break in ties, once the government ends a regional review of the strategy guiding the 16-year war in Afghanistan.
The precise actions have not yet been decided.
The White House and the Pentagon declined to comment on the review before its completion. The Pakistani Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “The United States and Pakistan continue to collaborate on a number of national security issues,” said Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump. But the discussions alone suggest a shift to a more assertive approach to addressing safe havens in Pakistan that have been blamed in part for helping turn the Afghan war into an intractable conflict.
Experts in the longest war in the United States argue that militant refugees in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents a place to plot deadly strikes in Afghanistan and regroup after land offensives. Although the long-time Trump government in Pakistan has put more emphasis on the relationship with Islamabad in the discussions, as it set out a regional strategy to be presented to Trump in mid-July, almost six months after its Possession, said the official. “We have never articulated what our strategy to Pakistan really is – the strategy will indicate more clearly what we specifically want from Pakistan,” the US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Other US officials warn of divisions within the government over the right approach and question whether any combination of carrots and sticks can cause Islamabad to change its behavior. At the end of the day, Washington needs a partner, albeit imperfect, in Pakistan with nuclear weapons, they say. The United States is again ready to deploy thousands of more troops to Afghanistan, an acknowledgment that US-backed forces are not winning and Taliban militants are resurging. Without further pressure on militants within Pakistan targeting Afghanistan, experts say additional deployment of US troops will not meet its ultimate goal: to pressure the Taliban to finally negotiate peace.

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