Here's a round-up of the latest AfPak news.
CIA officers oppose drone strikes, say civilian casualties help Al Qaeda recruit. According to Lt. Colonel Michael Addicott, a former legal advisor to U.S. Special Forces, this sentiment was at first held largely by low and mid-level officers, but now even "the people at the top are not believers." Because the attacks are carried out remotely, Addicott says, they lead potential terrorist recruits to "view Americans as cowards and weasels," making them even more likely to join militant groups. [IPS]
UK commanders say corrupt Afghan police fuelling insurgency. Officers returning from Helmand Province say Afghan police officers' corruption and frequent abuses of power have led many alienated Afghans to join insurgent groups. British troops' patience with the police is also wearing thin—five British soldiers were murdered by an Afghan policeman in Helmand last November. But Brigadier James Cowan insists the police force's performance is improving, largely due to efforts by NATO to better screen and train recruits. [Independent]
Afghan peace conference gives Karzai sweeping authority to deal with Taliban. Delegates at the three-day summit offered few specifics as to what a peace agreement with militant groups should look like. Instead, they called on the Karzai government to develop its own peace strategy, and then appoint a shura, or council, of tribal elders, clerics, lawmakers, and ex-militants to implement it. Delegates also endorsed Karzai's plan to try to reintegrate low-level militants by offering them jobs and skills training. [AFP, BBC]
Tribe vows to expel Taliban from South Waziristan. After several requests from the Pakistan government, Waziri tribal elders agreed to raise a militia against the Pakistan Taliban (TPP). The TPP's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, is a member of the Mehsud tribe, which has historically been the Waziris' chief rival in the region. [DAWN]