Conflict & Justice

Petraeus visits Pakistan amid high tensions

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, the outgoing top commander of the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan, visited Pakistan for security talks with its army chief on Thursday.

The visit comes amid high tensions between Washington and Islamabad: the U.S. has decided to withhold a third of its annual $2.7 billion security assistance to Islamabad after dozens of American military trainers were ordered to leave the country, AFP reports. The move was seen as retribution for the May 2 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

According to AFP:

The cuts of $800 million reportedly include about $300 million used to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of deploying more than 100,000 soldiers along the Afghan border, a hotbed of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Petraeus' successor as commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, accompanied him on the visit, during which he also said the counterinsurgency strategy that he designed had "borne fruit."

"What we have done is implement the so-called NATO comprehensive approach, a civil-military campaign ... that does indeed embody many of the principles of the counterinsurgency field manual that we developed back in 2006, and which we employed in Iraq in the surge of 2007-2008," he said, UPI reports. "I think generally, it has borne fruit."