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Barack Obama urged to create Af-Pak Study Group

A top US lawmaker has asked US President Barack Obama to establish an empowered Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group.

Washington: A top US lawmaker has asked US President Barack Obama to establish an empowered Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group which would look into the war against terror in that part of the world.

"I have consistently advocated for the creation of an Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group (APSG) to evaluate US strategy in the region and to clarify the US mission, goals and objectives for success," Congressman Frank Wolf wrote in a letter to Obama, a copy of which was made available to the press.

"A group which would in essence initiate a national conversation on the war effort, a conversation which you have been unwilling to start using the presidential bully pulpit," he said.

Modelled after the Iraq Study Group, the APSG would be tasked with conducting a forward looking assessment of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan, its impact on the surrounding region, and its consequences for US interests, Wolf wrote.

"Even though I secured the necessary funding and Congress granted you the authority to convene a bipartisan group of this nature, your administration has defied congressional intent and failed to act," Wolf said while referring to the recent letter to him by the Pentagon informing him of its decision not to establish such a group, mainly because of budgetary reasons.

"I am baffled by your intransigence in this regard and would venture that many of our men and women in uniform are as well.”

"The APSG, like the Iraq Study Group (ISG), could be a collaborative effort involving a variety of think tanks, among them the Centre for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and the US Institute for Peace," Wolf said.

"Each of these groups played an instrumental role in producing the ISG, each possess in-house expertise on the subject matter in question, and each is well-practiced in convening people of varied political stripes in an effort to seek bipartisan, forward-looking recommendations on matters of utmost national security import," he said.


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