White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on
U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan
The United States has a vital national security interest in addressing the current and potential
security threats posed by extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan, al Qaeda and
other groups of jihadist terrorists are planning new terror attacks. Their targets remain the U.S.
homeland, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Europe, Australia, our allies in the Middle East, and
other targets of opportunity. The growing size of the space in which they are operating is a
direct result of the terrorist/insurgent activities of the Taliban and related organizations. At the
same time, this group seeks to reestablish their old sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
Therefore, the core goal of the U.S. must be to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its
safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan.
The ability of extremists in Pakistan to undermine Afghanistan is proven, while insurgency in
Afghanistan feeds instability in Pakistan. The threat that al Qaeda poses to the United States and
our allies in Pakistan - including the possibility of extremists obtaining fissile material - is all too
real. Without more effective action against these groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan will face
Achieving our core goal is vital to U.S. national security. It requires, first of all, realistic and
achievable objectives. These include:
• Disrupting terrorist networks in Afghanistan and especially Pakistan to degrade any
ability they have to plan and launch international terrorist attacks.
• Promoting a more capable, accountable, and effective government in Afghanistan that
serves the Afghan people and can eventually function, especially regarding internal
security, with limited international support.
• Developing increasingly self-reliant Afghan security forces that can lead the