In a speech to NATO today, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband outlined a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The strategy is not new, it only changes emphasis, according to the UK Foreign Office. In Miliband's words, "our ultimate objective in 2001 holds true for 2009: to protect our citizens from terrorist attacks by preventing Al Qaida having a safe haven in the tribal belt, in either Afghanistan or Pakistan."
UK Foreign Office photo
The strategy seeks to divide the insurgency through the reconciliation and reintegration of former Taliban, to reassure the Afghan people about their future, and to ensure that neighboring Pakistan and Iran accept "that Afghanistan’s future is not as a client of any, but as a secure country in its own right." The long-term aim of the strategy is "an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan, which draws away conservative Pashtun nationalists, separating those who want Islamic rule locally from those committed to violent jihad globally."
Across the border in Pakistan, which Miliband recognizes as having the greatest influence on Afghan stability, "military operations need over time to address all militants who shelter Al Qaida, as well as those who threaten the Pakistan state" and "any future peace deals to reconcile militants should have clear red lines: they need to be prepared to shut out Al Qaida, and not use violence against troops or citizens in Afghanistan." He also called for the rapid reconstruction of and resettlement of displaced persons in Swat and Malakand, "so that immediate military success does not give way to longer term civilian disaffection."
Click here (and scroll down) to watch a 1:33 video of the speech.