What’s in a name? Well, quite a bit, according to the newly crowned military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, as he pushes to designate a group of militants in Pakistan as “terrorists.”
Many fear the rhetorical switch will rattle some horns in the conflict-laden region, antagonizing Pakistan and complicating future political settlements between groups there. —JCL
The New York Times:
The new American military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, is pushing to have top leaders of a feared insurgent group designated as terrorists, a move that could complicate an eventual Afghan political settlement with the Taliban and aggravate political tensions in the region.
General Petraeus introduced the idea of blacklisting the group, known as the Haqqani network, late last week in discussions with President Obama’s senior advisers on Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to several administration officials, who said it was being seriously considered.
Such a move could risk antagonizing Pakistan, a critical partner in the war effort, but one that is closely tied to the Haqqani network. It could also frustrate the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who is pressing to reconcile with all the insurgent groups as a way to end the nine-year-old war and consolidate his own grip on power.