Joint Chiefs to Obama: Time to lower expectations for Afghanistan

In their report, the Chiefs concluded that the existing American goals in Afghanistan, established by the Bush administration, are overly broad and ambitious. The report does not call for abandoning U.S. hopes of turning Afghanistan into a moderate Western-style democracy, or for halting counter-narcotics efforts, but it does suggest making those steps part of a long-term vision, rather than a goal…

But the Chiefs are recommending a broader effort to train and equip Pakistani security forces to conduct counter-insurgency operations in the tribal areas, and to apply pressure on Pakistan’s military and intelligence services to sever their ties with militants, one of the officials said.

Amid growing concern about the stability of Pakistan, the Chief’s report also calls for putting renewed focus by the U.S. government on ensuring that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons remain under its government’s control, the officials said. Though that has long been a U.S. aim, the officials said that including in the report was a way to focus new attention on the problem in case militant groups threaten Pakistan’s stability.

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