Washington: An influential US lawmaker
on Wednesday asked President Barack Obama to immediately establish an
"Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group" to evaluate America`s
strategy in the two countries.
Congressman Frank Wolf, the author of legislation in
2005 which created the Iraq Study Group (ISG), in a letter to
Obama cited several reasons for the need to bring "fresh eyes"
to US efforts in Afghanistan, including bolstering public
"We are nine years into our nation`s longest running
war and the American people and their elected representatives
do not have a clear sense of what we are aiming to achieve,
why it is necessary, and how far we are from attaining that
goal," Wolf said in the letter.
He said that a study panel focusing on Afghanistan and
Pakistan could reinvigorate national confidence in how we can
be successful and move us toward a shared mission in
"In recent days I have spoken with a number of
knowledgeable individuals including former senior diplomats,
public policy experts and retired and active military," he
"Many believe our Afghanistan policy is adrift, and
all agreed that there is an urgent need for what I call an
Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group (APSG)," he said.
He said the US must examine its efforts in the region
holistically, given Pakistan`s strategic significance to
America`s efforts in Afghanistan and the Taliban`s presence in
that country as well, especially in the border areas.
With Congress in recess for six weeks, Wolf asked
Obama to act quickly to create a bipartisan panel of respected
national leaders through executive order, arguing that the
country cannot afford to wait for congressional action.
"I am hopeful you will use an executive order...to
convene this group in short order, and explain to the American
people why it is both necessary and timely," he said.