Target Haqqani network inside Pakistan: Ex-US general
“We have got to step up to what two (US) presidents have failed to do, and that is deal with these sanctuaries in Pakistan from which intelligence, support and training for operations inside Afghanistan comes,” he said.
Gen (R) John M. Keane told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing that action against terrorist safe havens in Pakistan was necessary to deal with the issue of the insurgency.
“There are Afghan Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan, and specifically, the Haqqani Network should be targeted just like Al Qaida. In targeting them, we will disrupt it, disrupt their command and control...” he said.
Keane insisted the Haqqani Network posed a major danger to the security situation in Kabul. In his judgment, Afghan security forces did not have the capability currently to be able to deal with that harsh reality.
“What makes this so serious strategically inside Afghanistan is Kabul's presence of the Haqqani network. Every place that gets lit up in Kabul is done by the Haqqanis, and they are in the environs right now with support infrastructure surrounding Kabul,” he said.
He called for building the capacity of the Afghan forces and keeping their strength at 352,000. He also advised against pulling out US counterterrorism forces in 2016. "These are the guys that chase down high-value targets..."
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