Sakset/Fra hofta

Pakistan er opp-prioritert av Bush-administrasjonen. Musharraf er tilbudt amerikanske soldater, men har avslått. Uten en løsning i Waziristan, heller ingen løsning i Afghanistan. Stammeområdene er ikke bare en trussel mot Pakistan, man regner også med at det planlegges internasjonal terror herfra.

Flere fremtredende amerikanske representanter har besøkt Pakistan på nyåret. Amerikanerne er alarmert av utviklingen i grenseområdene, og av drapet på Benazir Bhutto. Afghanistan og Pakistan går inn i et stort finmasket nett, hvor mye står på spill.

At a Pentagon news conference last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that while the U.S. respects the Pakistani government’s right to decide what actions are needed to defeat extremists on its soil, there are reasons to worry that al-Qaida poses more than an internal threat to Pakistan.

«I think we are all concerned about the re-establishment of al-Qaida safe havens in the border area,» Gates said. «I think it would be unrealistic to assume that all of the planning that they’re doing is focused strictly on Pakistan. So I think that that is a continuing threat to Europe as well as to us.»

«There is strong pressure now from the international community to find some solution to Afghanistan because of the fear that this could quickly go south,» said Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 2006-07, he was an adviser to Nicholas Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs.

«We haven’t lost the war yet, but we could be on our way to doing so,» Tellis said in a telephone interview Friday. He strongly recommends strengthening the U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan.

US shift seen to Pakistan, Afghanistan