Home Global Village The US military has no authority to target Pakistan

The US military has no authority to target Pakistan

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News Analysis |

Brigadier Lance Bunch, the director of Future Operations at Headquarters Resolute Support Mission in Kabul said that while the US forces are engaging Taliban targets inside Afghanistan, they have no authority to conduct operations inside Pakistan.

The enunciation from the one-star officer comes days after Director CIA, Mike Pompeo said that if Pakistan doesn’t take on the Haqqani network, the US will do whatever it takes to get rid of them by itself. Ever since the announcement of the new South Asia Policy, the US officials have often alluded to striking inside Pakistan in order to punish the country over its alleged non-compliance in counterterrorism efforts.

While Pak-US ties remain frayed, war efforts in Afghanistan are not achieving the desired results at all levels. It remains to be seen whether or not the US will give up its goal of militarily defeating the Taliban.

“We are only doing targeting inside of Afghanistan, inside of the combined joint operation areas in Afghanistan. And we are not, we don’t have the authorities nor are we conducting operations in Pakistan,” Bunch said while responding to a question on whether the US will target alleged militants’ hideouts in Pakistan.

Read more: US military targets Taliban by starting new air attack campaign in…

Ties between Islamabad and Washington have been troubled owing to the brazen re-emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. While the US blames Pakistan’s alleged support to the Haqqani network as the reason behind the reverse, Pakistan attributes it to the military-heavy Afghan policy. Islamabad while offering full support to the peace process, has not only taken serious exceptions to US’ reliance on military power in Afghanistan but also has rallied support behind the need for a broad-based settlement in the country.

Brigadier Lance further explained the nature of operations being conducted in Afghanistan. He said that after the air campaign, the ground forces are also chasing and targeting Taliban’s supporting elements.

Brigadier Lance further explained the nature of operations being conducted in Afghanistan. He said that after the air campaign, the ground forces are also chasing and targeting Taliban’s supporting elements.

He added that earlier the US troops could only target in defence or in close proximity to Afghan forces, but now under the new authorities, the American troops were able to target militant networks and not just individual fighters.

Read more: Implications of US cold shouldering Pakistan by reducing military aid

The US Central Command (Centcom) officer further said that the State Department is heavily engaged with India and Pakistan in a bid to “find common ground in the future”. However, Pakistan, taking its security thinking into account, has firmly rejected further attempts to prop up India in Afghanistan.

While Pak-US ties remain frayed, war efforts in Afghanistan are not achieving the desired results at all levels. It remains to be seen whether or not the US will give up its goal of militarily defeating the Taliban. As of now, the Taliban is becoming more defiant despite the application of more military power by the US. If anything, peace efforts have been marred by the deterioration in Pak-US ties.


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