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Peace in Afghanistan Impossible Without Pakistan’s Cooperation: Gen. Miller

(Last Updated On: June 20, 2018)

U.S. Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, the Joint Special Operations Commander says achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan would not be possible without the cooperation of Pakistan.

“Pakistan must be the part of the solution and we should have high expectation that they are part of the solution not just diplomatically but from the security stand point as well,” Miller said.

The special operations commander nominated to take over command of the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday was asked by U.S. senators about his strategy for the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Gen. Miller has warned that if America leaves the fight too rapidly, there is a risk Islamic State militants could merge with al-Qaida and plan attacks against the U.S. or its allies.

Miller is expected to be easily approved by the Senate. He would take control of a war that has dragged on for 17 years and led to frustration and pointed questions about America’s path to success there.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said Miller will be taking over at a critical time. Even as the U.S. has increased troop numbers and expanded programs to train and advise the Afghans. Reed said that independent assessments find few signs of progress and the Taliban continue to launch high-profile attacks.

“I understand our core goal in Afghanistan is to ensure terrorists can never again use Afghanistan as a safe haven to threaten the United States or other members of the international community,” Miller said. “I believe military pressure is necessary to create the conditions for political reconciliation, so we enable the Afghans to build military capacity and they are better able to deny safe haven to terrorists.”

Asked by committee ranking member Asked by committee ranking member Sen. Reed about the military holding back data about U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Miller likewise said he needs to further assess why that’s happening.

“I am committed to being very transparent with this committee, as required. As for details that are being on hold, I would need to go forward and understand why we’re holding back that information,” Miller said.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) asked Miller whether he believes the military has the right amount of resources in Afghanistan. Miller said his “instinct” is that it does, but pledged to “come back to you with a better assessment.”

“There is obviously an expectation that you’ll bring something in that is going to offer something new,” Inhofe said. “I think we probably ought to, after you’ve been on the job for a while after you’re confirmed, to come and give some new insights. Because to continue to do the same thing that’s led us in 17 years is not going to be acceptable.”

Miller is currently the commander of Joint Special Operations Command. In that capacity, he oversees the elite Special Mission Units, including the Navy’s SEAL Team Six and the Army’s Delta Force.

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