New Delhi: The new policy on the war in Afghanistan by US President Donald Trump is going to have plenty of steps designed to coerce Pakistan’s military and intelligence services. With this move, they will not be able to support the Taliban and its affiliated jihadist networks in a way that they are doing right now.
If experts are to be believed, few operational instructions of the new strategy are expected to be spelt out in the speech, but Trump could signal his desire once again to destroy jihadist infrastructure beyond Afghanistan’s borders – in practice, by escalating drone strikes in the north-west region of Pakistan.
President Trump outline the policy in a televised speech. On an interesting note, this is only the second of his time in office – from Fort Myers Base in Virginia to an audience of soldiers and their families.
His speech is all set to announce a modest increase in troop numbers, and above all once again reaffirming its financial commitment to the Afghan military’s counter-terrorism campaign.
Not much of a surprise that the speech is being watched closely by PM Narendra Modi ’s national security advisors, who have been telling US on a constant basis that the fall of the Afghan government is not going to be good as it will destabilise south and central Asia.
President Trump’s decision was made few days back, where the hard line counselled by his National Security Advisor, Lieutenant-General Herbert McMaster, prevailed over more cautious voices.
After discussion with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in April, McMaster publicly chastised the country’s leaders, saying that “the best way to pursue their interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy, not through the use of proxies that engage in violence”.
“I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous,” Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said en route to Jordan.