U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the viability of what she called a “fight, talk and build” strategy in Afghanistan Thursday, telling the House Armed Services Committee that the United States could be successful fighting militants while simultaneously pursuing a negotiated peace deal (Reuters,BBC,AP,ET). U.S. representatives appeared skeptical about Pakistan’s commitment to helping the United States defeat the Taliban, but Sec. Clinton urged patience and claimed progress in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship (AP,CNN,Dawn). She reiterated that the United States had delivered a “frank” message to Pakistan during her recent visit, to flush out militant safe havens on its soil (AFP).
Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the U.S. second-in-command in Afghanistan, told reporters Thursday that Pakistani troops appear to be collaborating with militants who launch attacks on U.S. troops across the border, “or at a minimum looking the other way” (AFP,CNN,AP,W