US general seeks review of ties with Pakista

US general seeks review of ties with Pakista

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US GenerWashington,10 February 2017:-The top US commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday that there was a need for a “holistic review” of the relationship with Pakistan, adding that it was supporting the Taliban and undermining the Afghan government.
“Our complex relationship with Pakistan is best assessed through a holistic review,” Gen. John Nicholson, who leads US and international forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The US has cut both military and economic aid to Pakistan sharply in recent years, reflecting mounting frustration among a growing number of officials with the nuclear-armed country’s support for the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. 
He said he needs several thousand more international troops in order to break a stalemate in the long war with Taliban insurgents, signaling the matter may soon be put before President Donald Trump.
So far, Trump has offered little clarity about whether he might approve more forces for Afghanistan, where some 8,400 US troops remain more than 15 years after the Taliban government was toppled by US-backed Afghan forces.
A US soldier was severely wounded in fighting in Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said. Nicholson acknowledged Taliban gains over the past year, when deployed US forces were reduced even as security deteriorated.
Nicholson said he still had enough US troops to carry out counterterrorism missions against Al-Qaeda and other militant targets, but not enough to properly advise Afghan forces on the ground.
“We have a shortfall of a few thousand,” Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He added those forces could both be drawn from US forces as well as from allies.
Nicholson noted that Trump’s Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, would soon speak with allies and suggested Mattis might visit Afghanistan in the coming weeks.