NATO Forces Apologize For 'Highly Offensive' Leaflet

Casualties confirmed after blast at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan- US military

Taliban militants have warned that they will be stepping up their attacks until the United States forces fully withdraw from Afghanistan after more than a decade and half of occupation.

However, informed sources have revealed that for several months before Trump finalized and announced his Afghanistan policy, high military officers of the U.S. had been making visits to Pakistan to meet the army chief General Qamar Bajwa and other senior military officers in order to convey to them that Trump wanted Islamabad to shut off the terror havens for the Afghan Taliban. Although the previous USA administration, under Obama, used less cold words against Pakistan, the administration was slowly moving towards creating a stage for its successors to gradually cast off Pakistan in the US's attempt of embracing Pakistan's arch rival India and putting indirect pressure on China, which is Pakistan's strategic partner against India. And that is why Donald Trump in his speech on Afghan policy berated Pakistan openly.

Three US soldiers were wounded and an Afghan interpreter was killed, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday, in the blast that occurred at an enemy-control point outside of Bagram Airfield, the LA Times and Reuters reported.

Osama Bin Laden was eliminated in Abbottabad, barely a hundred km from Islamabad, and close to the Pakistan military academy, by a US Navy Seals operation.

The Pakistan senate can only scream, as it has no control on foreign policy towards India, Afghanistan and the U.S., which are exclusively the army's prerogative.

Obama had come a long way since telling Time magazine in October 2008 about working with Pakistan and India to resolve the "Kashmir crisis in a serious way", and devoting "serious diplomatic resources to get a special envoy in there".

The Pakistani government, politicians and media reacted strongly to Trump's plan. It hasn't worked to change Pakistan's behaviour before, and it is unlikely to change it now. And that will change immediately. To put pressure on Islamabad, which is a non-Nato US ally, Defence Secretary Mattis cancelled Dollars 350 million of USD 900 million military aid to Pakistan in 2017. Imposing of sanctions would mean Pakistan would also lose support and trade from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member nations and other countries as well. As far as civilian aid is concerned, 80 percent of it goes back to the United States in consultancy overhead cost and only 15-20 percent is spent in Pakistan.

Whether Trump's new approach will work or not depends mostly on how it is played at the operational and tactical level to achieve stability for the U.S. and the region at large, but one thing is for certain: trying the same thing over and again expecting a different result is unlikely to get the USA anywhere. However, a US-India strategic partnership to contain China is not something coming up in the near future.

Quick to seize on the propaganda blunder, the Taliban also issued a statement saying the leaflet made clear "that this war is a war between Islam and unbelief".

Giving India a bigger role would only add fuel to the proxy wars and increase agonies of war-torn Afghan people.

There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of American foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. Pentagon officials proposed plans to send in almost 4,000 more to boost training and advising of the Afghan forces and bolster counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate trying to gain a foothold in the country. So much for engaging the Taliban in talks, or the government in Kabul in reform. Pakistan believes the path to Afghan reconciliation goes through Islamabad and requires power-sharing with the Taliban.

With his Afghan policy, Trump has revived the fight-fight approach as the war in Afghanistan comes full circle.

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