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PacNet #49 – A Northeast Asian Solution for Af-Pak

The political and social stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan – though far from hopeless – is nevertheless quite tenuous. Troops from the United States, NATO, and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partner nations continue to battle terrorist and extreme Taliban elements across Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Army is battling the same groups on its own territory and is dealing with a refugee situation bordering on dire. Although the U.S. military is stretched thin, Washington is hopeful that a surge in U.S. troops will stabilize Afghanistan and permit reconstruction to take place. Attempts by the Obama administration to enlist further NATO troop commitments have met with disappointment. Other ISAF partners – such as Australia and New Zealand – have bravely contributed, but they have few resources and these are being stretched thin.