The South Asia Channel

U.S. looks to squeeze nations for funds at NATO summit

Raising money: The United States hopes to cobble together enough funds for Afghan security forces from the dozens of countries expected to attend this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago to relieve the burden on the U.S. and other NATO member states that are implementing austerity measures and cutting back their defense budgets (AP, NYT). As the U.S. ...

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

Raising money: The United States hopes to cobble together enough funds for Afghan security forces from the dozens of countries expected to attend this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago to relieve the burden on the U.S. and other NATO member states that are implementing austerity measures and cutting back their defense budgets (APNYT). As the U.S. government gears up for Sunday’s NATO summit, they are using distinctly different language to define "success" in Afghanistan than that used in the past (NYT). National security adviser Thomas Donilon said Thursday that the U.S. goal is an Afghanistan with a "degree of stability such that forces like al-Qaeda and associated groups cannot have safe haven unimpeded," leaving out any mention of governance or of complete victory over the Taliban.

Donilon also expressed NATO’s need for France’s participation in the rest of the war; the newly elected French president Francois Hollande is expected to temper his campaign promise to pull all French troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year when he meets President Barack Obama for breakfast at the White House on Friday (AFP, Guardian). And the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday rejected an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2013 that would have sped up the end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, authorizing funds only for the "safe and orderly" withdrawal of U.S. troops (AP).

An insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan killed two international service members on Friday (AP). The Times’s C.J. Chivers reports on the meticulous records kept by Col. Michael Wirt of the injuries sustained by over 500 American soldiers in Afghanistan, as well as the method and outcome of their treatment (NYT). His data could be a valuable tool for helping us understand how best to survive war.

Mixed emotions

As Pakistan prepares to reopen NATO ground supply routes, the Wall Street Journal examines the intense debates that went on behind the scenes of the U.S. government over whether or not to apologize to Pakistan for the NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November (WSJAP). And while many Pakistanis oppose the reopening of the supply routes, transport workers whose livelihoods have taken a hit are celebrating the development (AJE).

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Authorization Act (NDAA) 2013 on Thursday that makes $650 million in proposed aid to Pakistan contingent upon the opening of the ground supply routes to Afghanistan (Reuters).

Political violence in Karachi, at a slow but steady pace over the past week, soared in the last 24 hours, with more than 15 people reported killed in targeted attacks (ETDawn). The Interior Ministry has reportedly provided intelligence to the Sindh provincial government that reveals a Punjabi Taliban plot to attack the Karachi Central Jail and other establishments, as well as abduct foreigners and prominent Pakistanis (ET).

Movie madness

A bold young Pakistani filmmaker, Muhammad Danish Qasim, is making waves around the world with his film, The Other Side, which tells the story of a young boy who loses his family in a drone strike, and later becomes a member of a dangerous terrorist group (ET). The film won the Audience Award for Best Film in the "Across the Globe" category at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle, Washington, but Qasim was denied a visa to the United States to accept the honor for himself.

 

 Jennifer Rowland

 

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