War on terrorists: White House assessment shows disappointment
A WHITE House assessment of the war in Afghanistan concludes that Pakistan’s military avoided direct conflict this spring with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda militants, partly for political reasons.
The biannual evaluation of progress in the war also said devastating monsoon flooding in August had prompted Pakistan to scale back its military effort against the insurgents, a move that could ultimately result in gains for the militants.
“The Pakistan military (between April 1 and June 30) continued to avoid military engagements that would put it in direct conflict with Afghan Taliban or al-Qaeda forces in North Waziristan,” the report said.
“This is as much a political choice as it is a reflection of an under-resourced military prioritizing its targets,” said the report, which was compiled by the White House National Security Council and sent to Congress earlier this week.
It included a cover letter from President Barack Obama saying no adjustments to the Afghan war strategy were needed.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs played down the significance of the report. “I don’t think it is surprising that we have challenges in that region of the world. Our belief is that despite those challenges we are making important progress,” he told reporters.
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