Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship in the Year Ahead

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CTC Sentinel, January 2012
Ahmed Rashid looks ahead on possible developments in the US-Pakistani relations. He writes that ‘Certainly, military-to-military relations will improve in 2012, but Pakistan will not give the United States the kind of carte blanche it had in the past.’ And he warns: ‘In 2012, however, there is a real danger that another bloody incident between the two militaries could occur and worsen the crisis. There are several triggers for underlying tensions to explode.’ One reason, he says, is that ‘between 10,000 and 20,000 U.S. Marines are expected to redeploy from Helmand and Kandahar in southern Afghanistan to the provinces of eastern Afghanistan to tackle the virulent Taliban network of Jalaluddin Haqqani in the spring of 2012’ and ‘even increase the chances of direct U.S.-Pakistan clashes or the downing of aircraft’. He also points at Pakistani accusations that the NDS ‘providing sanctuary in mountainous Kunar Province to [TTP faction leader] Maulana Qazi Fazlullah and his fighters’ and that if he is ‘not stopped by the spring, the Pakistanis could intervene, ratcheting up border tensions even more’.

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