The Undeclared AfPak War

by Joshua Foust on 3/15/2011

I have a new piece up at the AfPak Channel, talking about the growing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan:

In a way, Afghanistan and Pakistan are waging a largely unacknowledged war, with militants, militaries, and casualties. It is not nearly as intense or as bloody as the wars either country is fighting internally, against different flavors of Taliban — but it is nevertheless a war. Neither country probably sees much value in making their conflict official, tensions between Islamabad and Kabul are slowly escalating tensions (despite progress in their trade talks).

The Taliban are at the center of this undeclared Afghanistan-Pakistan war. Many Afghans blame Pakistan for supporting and arming the Taliban. Some Afghan officials, like former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, have gone so far as to openly demand the bombing of Pakistani territory until Pakistan relinquishes control of the Taliban and other militant groups. Pakistan, for its part, still sees Afghanistan as within its sphere of influence — and reacts especially strongly against the prospect of a heavy Indian influence in the country. Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks indicate that the Pakistani Army Chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has been “utterly frank” about how intolerable Pakistan would find a pro-India Afghan government.

Etc., etc.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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