Pakistan showing signs of returning to cooperation
Gen. John Allen talks with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Kabul on Tuesday.
December 13th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Pakistan showing signs of returning to cooperation

By Adam Levine

There are signs of a thaw in a Pakistani freeze on cooperating with the United States and NATO after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed at a border post last month, the most senior American commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

Pakistan intends to send its liaison officers back to coordination centers it had staffed along with the Afghans and NATO forces, Gen. John Allen told reporters in Kabul. Allen said he spoke to his counterpart in Pakistan, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday.

"I do have a sense of progress," Allen said. He would not go into details of the conversation, but did say, "The outcome was that we stayed at our mutual commitment to address any shortfalls that might have caused this event, but also to ensure that we work closely together, because the border is always going to be there."

In the aftermath of the border attack, Pakistan recalled staff from coordination centers on the border and in Kabul and closed down key shipping routes for NATO supplies in Afghanistan.

Allen said the relationship has "chilled to some extent," but he has instructed his officers to act as if that has not happened.

"Should there be a need for cross-border coordination, and often that comes from insurgent attacks against our forces from within Pakistan, we will pick up the phone and call," he said.

"The intent is to restore as much normalcy as we can to the border coordination as early as we can," Allen said.  He added that the Pakistanis have that same desire.  "We are careful in obviously what we say and what we do to ensure neither our words nor our actions might be misinterpreted."

Allen said U.S. forces will begin to be deployed next year within Afghan units as advisers and trainers, reducing the direct combat role of foreign troops in the country.

Afghanistan's growing security force has surpassed 305,000 and is headed toward 352,000 next year. At the same time, the United States is withdrawing forces through 2012, aiming to bring the number of American troops down to 68,000 by next year from over 100,000 after a 33,000 troop surge last year. There will also be 38,000 troops from other NATO countries.

Having Afghan forces take the lead with American advisers is the goal as the United States hopes to increase the indigenous force, but it is a challenging shift as Afghan forces have not proven to be uniformly cohesive or reliable as the numbers increase.

"That will in many respect be a preview of how we'll see our forces postured in the years to come," Allen said. "The crossover point where we become largely an advisory, assisting, an education force, versus a force that is engaged at any given moment in counterinsurgency, that crossover point remains to be determined."

But even as NATO and U.S. forces look for Afghanistan to take the lead, Allen acknowledges significant U.S. counterterrorism operations will have to continue, especially in the east.

Next year, he said, "we hope to consolidate much of the advantage that we have achieved in the south with respect to the Afghan forces moving to the fore, protecting the Afghan population, continuing to deny the critical terrain in the south to the enemy."

At the same time, he said, "we are also going to conduct significant operations in the east. They will be aimed at supporting the growing (Afghan security forces) presence in the east and there is much that still needs to be done in that regard."

Allen also said the United States and Afghanistan are in discussions about an extended U.S. presence.

"The U.S. is in the process of a strategic partnership agreement. That may well result in a U.S. military presence here after '14 for some period of time," Allen told reporters. "We are not departing at the end of 2014."

That presence, Allen said, could help win over some Taliban to stop fighting and reconcile with the Afghan government.

"Our sense is there are many, many foot soldiers who are tired of this," Allen said. "The fact we are not going to be gone on the first of January 15 is a blow to the narrative that the Taliban will have their way with the Afghan government when the ISAF and U.S. forces depart at the end of '14.  We are not departing at the end of '14. The IC, the international community, is going to be here a long time."

But Allen said that by his estimation a key terror group is not likely to concede: the Haqqani network, which has been responsible for a number of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO troops.

This summer, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that at the behest of the Pakistanis, U.S. officials had preliminary talks with a representative for the Haqqani. But Allen said he doubts they would ever be willing to reconcile.

Asked if the Haqqanis are irreconcilable, Allen replied, "For me they are at this point."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Diplomacy • Gen. Allen • ISAF • Kabul • Military • Pakistan
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  10. KRM1007

    Pakistan's response so far has been swift, strong and meaningful to the US/NATO et al. Americans kicked out of the airbase, logistic supply support halted to Afghanistan, US ambassador spanked. More to follow...stay tuned.

    December 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  11. Skorpio

    It is common among Muslims to negotiate using harsh words, screaming and blaming the other party. But once they see the reaction of the other party becoming harder than theirs, they go back to the table to negotiate.

    December 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  12. Shrihari

    @KRM1007: KRM1007 has completely lost his mind. This article has nothing to do with India, but still his narrow minded brain that is brainwashed to hate India/US/Israil in Paki schools (sorry, those stu pid madrassas) since childhood could only spit hatred against these countries. India is doing so many favors/good things for pakis, but still pakis will never learn. I still wish them good luck for their future and peace.

    December 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • KRM1007

      NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination.
      “Kashmir is one of the most protracted and bloody occupations in the world — and one of the most ignored,” she told a large audience at the Asia Society during a discussion on “Kashmir — a case for freedom”.
      Under the Indian military rule in Kashmir, Ms Roy said, freedom of speech was non-existent and human rights abuses were routine. Elections were rigged and the press controlled.
      She said the lives of Kashmiris were made miserable by gun-totting security personnel who harassed and terrorised people with impunity, adding that disappearances were almost a daily occurrence as also kidnapping, arrests, fake encounters and torture. Mass graves have been discovered and the conscience of the world remains unstirred……
      The apathy towards Kashmir, especially in the western world, Ms Roy said, was because of their pursuit of commercial interests in India where they were more eager to “sell their goods than human rights”……..

      December 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • KRM1007

      NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination……
      She said so little was known about the atrocities being committed by more than half a million Indian troops, the continuing repression and indignities let loose on Kashmiri men, women and children.
      More than 700,000 troops were concentrated in the tiny valley, with checkpoints at every nook and corner of Kashmiri towns and cities. The huge Indian presence, she added, was in sharp contrast with 160,000 US troops in Iraq.
      Ms Roy alleged that Indian army or security personnel were killing young children, adding that Kashmiris were not radical Islamists or jihadists as India portrayed them. She deplored the Indian government’s attempts to demonise Kashmiris who were moderate Muslims.

      December 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  13. anthony

    I wonder how much money was pushed there way....they must of come up with a big settlement.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • KRM1007

      US/NATO need to understand that this is not cowardly and meek India they are dealing with.....this is Pakistan they are messing with. DON'T MESS WITH PAKISTAN.....People!!!! US/Nato were obviously not expecting such a strong response from Pakistanis. This ain't nothing yet, folks

      December 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  14. M4 Skull F_cker

    They harbored Osama Bin Laden in a life of luxury. Lets go in with a million menand blow the country up. Me and all my army brethren await our orders to attack. President Obama, its time to step up to the plate and authorize a full offensive against Pakistan and Iran. I want to attack so badly I could almost piss myself.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • AL

      How many countries we are going to plunder and mess ?
      Stop behaving like masters and make friends.
      How strange the followers of Jesus are following the policy of kill and plunder.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • KRM1007

      LIPSTICK ON A PIG: The Story Of India

      Mirror Mirror on the the Indian Hindus who is the slimiest of them all.
      The way you let the shadows play
      You’d think my hair was getting gray.
      What’s that, you say? A double chin?
      No, that’s the way the light comes in.

      Self Denial …Self Denial…. Is the Hindu play.
      Maybe catharsis is another way

      December 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • DON2

      then your family members will receive your coffin very soon. If war is started in Pakistan/Iran, do you believe they will be quite, will fight as hard as you never imagine.

      December 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  15. KRM1007


    “Since Sep 11, 2001, 21,672 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives or have been seriously injured in the war against terror.

    The Pakistani Army also has lost 2,795 soldiers while 8,671 soldiers have been wounded. More than 3.5 million have been displaced while the country has lost $68 billion due to terrorism.

    Despite sacrifices, Pakistan was still engaged in 'the war for world peace”.


    December 14, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • The Woof

      And Pakistan made the world safe how? It's sort of ironic that a country with nuclear weapons is on an economic plane just above North Korea.

      December 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  16. 2ND Airborne Pilot

    We dint believe them. I hope we just get orders to kill them all.

    December 14, 2011 at 12:06 am | Reply
    • KRM1007

      WE SALUTE YOU, PAKISTAN......The Americans acknowledge the innumerable sacrifices made by Pakistanis in this ongoing war. The Americans appreciate the bullets taken on the chest by the Pakistanis in fighting the enemy. The Americans appreciate the ultimate sacrifices made by Pakistanis in sacrificing their lives while trying to make America and the world safe

      December 14, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
      • USTiger

        If you do not understand about any country then keep your dirty mouth shut. ISI and Pak army is the mother of all devils. Only thing you guys can give to world is bad stuff and from your comments it is clear you are part of that devil chain.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:52 am |
      • KRM1007

        ARE INDIANS UBER TERRORISTS OR WHAT???? Forget the GDP, focus on these murder statistics.
        In India, millions of girls are strangled, slowly starved or simply tossed in the trash. Moreover, in India, at least 1,370 girls are aborted every day. As a comparison, some 250 Indians die every day in road accidents. Terrorists killed about six people, on an average, every day in 2009. In the last two decades of economic progress, 10 million girls have died as such in India.
        Indians have killed more human beings (girls particularly) than Al Qaeda and Talibans put together.

        December 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • KRM1007


      For winning the Viet Nam war for the Americans and the American armed forces by defeating the communist Soviets in Afghanistan. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

      December 14, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
  17. Javed

    I hope this is not true. Pakistan needs to grow a backbone like Iran against the zionist government of USA. How many more of your soldiers and your people do you want killed by cooperating with the devil (USA)?

    December 14, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • KRM1007

      India is playing a double game with Americans in Iran. We are also aware of the other dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack. India may pretend to drape itself in an American flag but it will never fool the world that the biggest threat to American interests in Asia and Middle East is India and their obsolete policies.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • USTiger

      Mr. Javed, biggest problem with people like you is tolerance. Go and learn tolerance against other religion and country. Go and learn what sufi's try to teach you. I wish you heart will be converted in sufism and them you will be pure a muslim, which I really love most.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  18. Galoot

    Pak-stabbing Paki-logical lying Pakiban is the same as it ever was.

    December 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • KRM1007

      India poses a clear and present danger to the regional security of the world. USA...NATO...Pakistan and Afghanistan people and armed forces. Hindu cult extremism is on the rise and fanning all terrorism worldwide. Indians are the bankers to and financing terrorism and supporting Talibans and Al Qaeda and harboring them in India. These terrorists are being entertained in the Indian parliament building in New Delhi where they are residing and then smuggle dover to Pakistan in Indian Army helicopters. Shame on these Indians. Like the NAZI's they need to be stopped forcefully and immediately. If it takes bombing lets bomb India, if it takes Drones...lets drone New Delhi.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:26 am | Reply
  19. Pragmatic solution

    Every leaned american knows that pakistani support imp. And so engagement will continue.

    December 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  20. hk from NV

    Paki beggars are used to sitting on their butts and living off the free money they get from us. Why would they let that free money go? On the other hand, nuke the basta#ds–so the headache is over once and for all!!

    December 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Bad boy

      Ur mom is sucking dick now.... So il reply about that later... 🙂

      December 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • KRM1007

      PAKISTAN.....The New Gateway to Central Asia and Europe.
      With a population of over 180 million most of whom are well educated, english speaking, entrepreneurial, a cultural and social fit with Central Asians...Pakistan will now become the new face and gateway to Central Asia and Europe. Pakistan will thus span this region and provide the impetus for growth, prosperity and unity among these countries. These are new and exciting times for Pakistanis who should now look forward to their new leadership role aligned with Central Asia and Europe rather than the Subcontinent. We wish them much success as they have sacrificed the most during the past 30 + years creating a new world order.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
  21. rk from NY

    what else can abeggar nation do..??? can't not follow orders of paying masters...hahahahah

    December 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • KRM1007

      INDIA: On a Goat and a Stick:

      The problem with India is that is built on a system of cultural and societal values based on Hinduism which is a cult. Nations built on a cult seldom survive in the long run. You can only take it so far based on symbolisms of a goat and a stick with a skinny little man aka gandhi banging boys at night and spinning wheels during daytime.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:28 am | Reply

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