US determined to have regional perspective on Afghan conflict

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US determined to have regional perspective on Afghan conflict

Washington, Apr 27 (PTI) The US is ‘determined’ to ‘have a regional perspective’ on the Afhgan conflict, as the ongoing Af-Pak policy review by Trump Administration is critical of the previous government’s approach towards the problem, the White House said today.

“What we found (during the ongoing Af-Pak policy review) is that in recent years is that we often just done enough in Afghanistan to avoid failure, and not enough to scale our level of efforts to succeed.

“I think, the other critical thing is that our regional approach to the problem has to change,” a senior administration official told reporters at the White House.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

“What we have been able to do is to look at the problem that we have been engaged with for over 15 years and understand how that conflict has evolved in Afghanistan and has evolved in Pakistan as well,” he noted.

“What we are determined to do is to have a regional perspective, to have a regional look at the problem and to make sure that we are integrating all of our efforts,” the official said as he refrained from giving any readout of the recent India, Pakistan and Afghanistan visit of the US National Security Advisor, Lt Gen H R McMaster.

The senior administration official said they have not really seen improvements in assistance from other players in the region.

The US is looking at opportunities to better connect what it is doing militarily in Afghanistan in lifting up its counter terrorism efforts.

This was highlighted by recent US operations in ISIS strong holds of the country’s eastern part.

The US has identified the overlap with the Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group, as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other groups there.

“The other aspect is the military aspect to advise and assist the Afghan national security forces… highlight the need to stop attacks against the security forces..highlight the need for us to work with the Afghan Government to strengthen those security forces, who are making tremendous sacrifices to defend their nation and the people against the Taliban, the Haqqani network as well as other transnational terrorist organisation, which are seeking a support base in Afghanistan,” the official said.

Noting that often, there has not been a strong connection between the military, political and diplomatic efforts, the official said through this review, the Trump Administration is trying to create an option that is more integrated and result oriented.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.