Iraq seems to be on track to stabilization although peace is still very very fragile in that country. But what is proving to be rather irksome is Afghanistan. Especially because the militants have the ability to hit at the stationed American and NATO forces, and then scurry back to ungoverned tribal bad lands of Pakistan for R&R.
The fact that Pakistan is not doing its bit or unable to do so, either intentionally or unintentionally, to eliminate this threat is further adding to the frustration of American troop commanders posted in Afghanistan.
In the latest attack, 9 American soldiers lost their lives when their remote outpost in Wanat, Afghanistan was attacked by mortars and small arms fire.
Voice of America is reporting that,
Western officials in Kabul say heavy fighting in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan has killed nine American soldiers and a large number of Taliban militants.
Accounts of the clash Sunday in Kunar province, near the Pakistani border, say it began with a dawn attack by militants on a small U.S. base at Wanat village and that a firefight raged throughout the day.
One unconfirmed report says “dozens” of Taliban insurgents died in the battle. No official count of casualties on either side has been released, due to continuing fighting, but it appeared to be one of the deadliest assaults on U.S. forces since they entered Afghanistan in late 2001.
American government officials have started to publicly decry the lack of action on the part of Pakistan and its refusal to act on these elements. (The Islamic country is oscillating between getting peace deals done to battling the militants in a half baked manner).
The American officials recently announced plans to launch attacks using their own ground based special forces. (Aerial attacks have already taken place without any issues except for when there is collateral damage).
Although it would be hard to blame Pakistanis as they themselves have never had much control of these areas, in stead preferring to rule through center appointed proxies who colluded with region’s tribal elders. But now even this approach seems to be faltering.
Bottom line is, that Pakistan should be told in no uncertain terms that if it refuses to fulfill its responsibility of getting rid of non-state actors who use its land to plot attacks in Afghanistan or as a safe haven, then it no longer should concern itself if American forces enter to do its job.
Either Pak army should do the cleaning act or shut up, get out of the way, and let others who are capable, do it.