Pakistani President: U.S., Allies Are Losing In Afghanistan
Pakistan’s President threw a grenade into the ongoing debate over the War in Afghanistan:
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said the U.S. and its allies are losing the war in Afghanistan because they failed to win local support and think too short term, drawing a rebuke from the U.S.
“The international community, of which Pakistan is a part, is losing the war against the Taliban because we have lost the battle for hearts and minds,” Zardari said in an interview with the Paris-based afternoon daily newspaper Le Monde.
“Military reinforcements are only a small part of the response,” Zardari said. “To win the support of the Afghan population, you must bring economic development and prove you can not only change their lives, but improve them.”
Of course, the United States does not agree:
WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday dismissed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s view that US-backed coalition forces are losing the war in Afghanistan, saying actions taken in the last several months were keeping in mind the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama, who had earlier said progress was being made in Afghanistan, would not agree with Zardari’s conclusion.
“Well, I don’t think the (US) President would agree with President Zardari’s conclusion that the war is lost. I haven’t seen the interview. I don’t know why he’s come to that conclusion,” Gibbs told reporters.
Perhaps you should find out. When the leader of the most important regional ally in this war says something like this, it’s worth paying attention to.