Wednesday, August 24, 2005

USCENTCOM News Release

The USCENTCOM PAO office just sent me a news release. I reprint it here and will link to it once it is posted. Ballcap tip: SPC Flowers


Aug. 24, 2005
Release # 050824-03

Tripartite Commission meets in Islamabad

Islamabad , Pakistan — The Tripartite Commission, comprised of senior military and diplomatic representatives from Afghanistan , Pakistan and the United States , held its 12th meeting in Rawalpindi , Pakistan today.

This meeting was the first in which Afghanistan and Pakistan were represented at the four-star general level. Delegates included Gen. Bismullah Khan, Chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army; Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hyat, Vice-Chief of the Army Staff of the Pakistan Army; and Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, Commander, Combined Forces Command–Afghanistan.

The session began with a series of briefings focused on enhancing regional stability and furthering security measures taken by Afghanistan , Pakistan and the Coalition in advance of the Afghan National Assembly and Provincial Council Elections on Sept. 18, 2005. The parties noted recent improvements in cooperation and information-sharing and reaffirmed their commitment to enduring operations against Al-Qaeda and associated militants.

During the plenary session, the parties agreed that the participation of Generals Bismullah Khan and Ahsan Saleem Hyat signified an important step toward enhancing strategic dialogue and understanding between Afghanistan and Pakistan . Gen. Bismullah Khan, Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hyat, and Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry met separately following the conclusion of the plenary session.

The delegates examined ways to deepen their level of military-to-military relationship in the interest of long-term regional stability. All parties noted the significance of the first bilateral Afghan-Pakistani staff exchanges, which took place July 14, 2005, in Kabul and Aug. 9, 2005, in Islamabad .

This plenary session was also significant in that representatives of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force attended the session as observers. All parties welcomed the NATO/ISAF observers and look forward to their participation in the future meetings given ISAF/NATO’s expanding role in Afghanistan .

The Tripartite Commission will meet again in October 2005.

This is interesting news for me for a couple of reasons. The first is that I served under LTG Eikenberry when he was an infantry battalion commander and am glad to see him doing so well. He is an extremely intelligent guy with absolutely no sense of humor. The second is that I have spent a great deal of time (in the past) in Pakistan. While I plan to post more detail about my experience in Pakistan in the future, it is important to note that Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hyat was hip-deep with the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI). They all are. The ISI is filled with bad people that are more inclined to support extremists than liberty.