Senators to Clinton: Tell Pakistan to halt export of bomb materials
The State Department should press Pakistan to stop the flow of dangerous chemicals that are used to make the roadside bombs that are killing U.S. and allied troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 20 U.S. senators wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We are writing to request that you encourage Pakistani officials to stem the ...
The State Department should press Pakistan to stop the flow of dangerous chemicals that are used to make the roadside bombs that are killing U.S. and allied troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 20 U.S. senators wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"We are writing to request that you encourage Pakistani officials to stem the flow of ammonium nitrate into Afghanistan where it is used in improvised explosive devices to kill U.S. troops," states the May 23 letter, led by Sens. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Carl Levin (D-MI). "IEDs have also increasingly become a problem in Pakistan and we urge you to stress this common threat in your meetings with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders."
The State Department hasn’t announced whether Clinton will visit Pakistan this month, as was scheduled before the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but an administration official told The Cable that the trip is on. The dates are being held from the public due to security concerns.
Clinton was supposed to lead the third round of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, which is meant to advance the bilateral relationship. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman traveled to Islamabad last week to help set up the talks, but he was also there to press Pakistan to announce goodwill gestures following the discovery of bin Laden in Abbottabad. Clinton’s trip will also likely be a mix of both missions.
Specifically, the senators want Pakistan to pass legislation regulating bomb-making chemicals, step up customs enforcement on the Afghan border, and increase public education on the dangers of ammonium nitrate.
"In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, we believe that Pakistan must implement concrete measures, to counter terrorism. Removing ammonium nitrate from the terrorist arsenal is one such good faith measure that is also in Pakistan’s national security interest," the senators wrote.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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