US spy chiefs: Pakistan terror groups pose threat to our interests in India, Afghanistan

The US intelligence community is believed to have informed the US Congress that Pakistan has failed to stop terror activities operating from its soil, a Pakistan-based newspaper Dawn reported.

US spy chiefs: Pakistan terror groups pose threat to our interests in India, Afghanistan

"…And because of its failure, these (terror) groups will (continue to) present a sustained threat to American interests in the region, and continue to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan," the report citing US intelligence said.

During a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan and the ongoing war against terror elements there, the intelligence chiefs reportedly gave a candid assessment of the situation in war-torn Afghanistan to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the newspaper said.

A transcript released this weekend, showed that though much of the debate focused on Pakistan, there was a concern expressed that despite increased military efforts to defeat the Taliban, these militants would continue to make gains, especially in the rural areas of Afghanistan.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats
National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

“Afghan security forces' performance will probably worsen due to a combination of Taliban operations, combat casualties, desertions, poor logistics support and weak leadership," warned National Intelligence Director Dan Coats.

Coats leads a team of more than a dozen spy agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Illinois Republican Senator Joni Kay Ernst asked the intelligence chiefs to spell out the measures that Washington would like Kabul's neighbours to take to help stabilise the region.
"I think certainly an evaluation of how we work with Pakistan to address the situation of the harbouring of terrorist groups would be essential to a strategy that affects Afghanistan," Coats replied.

"Because that is potentially a very disrupting situation, putting our own troops at risk and undermining the strategy of dealing with the Taliban and local groups that are trying to undermine the (Afghan) government. So it's a very clear link that I think would have to be addressed in conjunction with whatever's done in Afghanistan."

Intelligence Director Lt General Vincent Stewart
Intelligence Director Lt General Vincent Stewart. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

"Besides more troops, which I anticipate might be part of the plan that we see, we need to implement a different strategy on the ground in Afghanistan?" Senator Ernst asked Defence Intelligence Director Lt General Vincent Stewart.

"We've got to get a couple of things. One, very clear that Afghanistan's security and stability is in the interest of all of the parties in the region and does not pose a risk to Pakistan," Stewart replied.

Stewart also urged the Trump administration to work with Afghanistan's neighbours to go after the 20 terrorist organisations that are still active in the region.