Into the quagmire

Dems call on Clinton to name Haqqani clan a terrorist group
by Sara A. Carter
Washington Examiner, 2012-05-08

[The title mentions "Dems" explicitly,
but it should be noted that many Republicans have, most unfortunately,
been making the same request.

It also seems only fair to note that
the two Democratic politicians highlighted in this article,
Senators Levin and Feinstein,
share another characteristic much more specific than being Democratic.

The emphasis below is added.]


“I have repeatedly written to Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton
to press her to have the Haqqani group
added to the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations,
to make more tools available to our government agencies
to sanction this organization,”

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, of Michigan,
said in an email exchange with The Washington Examiner.
“This step is long overdue
and I hope the State Department will move quickly
to designate the Haqqanis a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”


Other senior Democrats
are also now calling on the State Department for action.
Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee,
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
and Michigan Republican Mike Rogers
told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that
one of the first steps the administration must take
is to designate the Haqqani network a “foreign terrorist organization”
and take “aggressive action” against the group.


Arturo Munoz, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation
who has traveled on numerous occasions to the region,
said the current strategy to reduce forces
and commit U.S. Special Operations to the area
is “the correct strategy”
but warned it will be difficult to get Pakistan to cooperate with
U.S. efforts to damage the Haqqani clan’s power.

Munoz said, “The Haqqanis, who are trained in Pakistan,
are facilitating the death of our soldiers.”

Bruce Riedel, a senior analyst with the Brookings Institution
who chaired President Obama’s Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy,
said Pakistan’s lack of action regarding the Haqqani network
is a reflection of the strong support the group has
within Pakistan’s army and spy agency.

Failing to deal with the Haqqanis before the U.S. pulls out in 2014
could doom the region to decades of turmoil, Munoz said.

“If Pakistan continues to function
as a staging area and safe haven for the Haqqanis,
then this war will go on for generations,”

he said.
“It could leave Afghanistan and the tribal belt
in a state of endemic war.
So far, the indicators are not good.
The sacrifices made by our troops and civilians
are in danger of being squandered.”

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