Small Wars Journal

U.S. Says Pakistan Doing 'Bare Minimum' Against Militants Within Its Borders

U.S. Says Pakistan Doing 'Bare Minimum' Against Militants Within Its Borders

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Pakistan is doing the "bare minimum" needed to address U.S. demands that it stop the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network from operating within its borders, a senior U.S. official has said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided to reporters on March 16 his assessment of Pakistan's efforts to counter the militants since U.S. President Donald Trump announced last year that he would withhold $2 billion a year in military aid unless Islamabad takes more vigorous action.

"The Pakistanis have wanted to appear responsive," but "they have done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests," said the official.

"We continue to make very specific requests, and when provided with very specific information, they have responded," he said. "But we have not seen them pro-actively take the steps that we expect and know they are capable of."

The United States, in particular, is demanding that Pakistan move against Taliban leaders who support a continuation of the war in Afghanistan and oppose participating in peace talks with Kabul, the official said.

But the country's powerful security services still seem to be supporting the Afghan Taliban, the official said, most likely because it sees the Taliban as aligned with Islamabad's interest in keeping India from influencing Afghanistan.

"We are continuing to look for real action, not just words, from Pakistan on the Taliban and Haqqani sanctuaries," the official said.

"We need to sustain the pressure," he said, adding that the administration is willing to "give it more time, it deserves more time."

Guns, Drones, & Augmented Reality: Army Seeks Infantry Revolution

Guns, Drones, & Augmented Reality: Army Seeks Infantry Revolution by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. - Breaking Defense

There’s a revolution afoot in America’s infantry. New guns to replace the M4 carbine, M16 rifle, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. A new mini-drone to scout ahead. A new tactical network to link scattered units. A new night vision sight that displays targeting data like a fighter pilot’s Heads-Up Display. New tactics to use all of the above and new VR simulators to train on. All these innovations could be in the hands of US Army infantry within “a few years,” Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue told reporters Friday.

The catch, of course, is that the Army’s tried to field all these things before — and failed. Why would things go any better this time around? …

In another sense, however, the Soldier Lethality team is tightly focused. Unlike past programs, they are not trying to come up with General Issue gear for a million GIs. Instead, “we’re focused on the 100,000 active, National Guard, and…Reserve that actually close with the enemy,” he said: infantry, scouts, armored vehicle crews, plus some frontline specialists such as forward observers (who call in artillery and airstrikes) and medics. “We call that the close combat 100,000.”

By focusing on 100,000 soldiers out of a million-strong Army (active, reserve, and Guard), the Soldier Lethality task force cuts both the time and cost to field its innovations by about 90 percent…

Read on.