Alexa

Clinton aims to refine goals of Afghan war

 Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke briefs reporters, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at the State Department in Washington...
 US soldiers take a nap at  Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Friday, July 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
 FILE - In this July 13, 2010 file photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a joint press availability with Iraqi Foreign Minis...
 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson upon her arrival at Pakistan Air Force Bas...
 Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks with journalists as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton...
 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, is greeted by Pakistani Chief of Protocol Ghalib upon her arrival at Pakistan Airforce Base, Chakala ...
 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, walks on the red carpet upon her arrival at PAF Base Chakala in Islamabad for meetings with l...
 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, is greeted by Mah Noor, a student at Roots School in Rawalpindi, as she arrives at PAF Base C...

US Afghanistan Pakistan

Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke briefs reporters, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at the State Department in Washington...

Afghanistan

US soldiers take a nap at Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Friday, July 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Clinton Asia

FILE - In this July 13, 2010 file photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a joint press availability with Iraqi Foreign Minis...

Pakistan US Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson upon her arrival at Pakistan Air Force Bas...

Pakistan US

Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks with journalists as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton...

Pakistan US Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, is greeted by Pakistani Chief of Protocol Ghalib upon her arrival at Pakistan Airforce Base, Chakala ...

Pakistan US Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, walks on the red carpet upon her arrival at PAF Base Chakala in Islamabad for meetings with l...

Pakistan US Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, is greeted by Mah Noor, a student at Roots School in Rawalpindi, as she arrives at PAF Base C...

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton started a South Asia tour on Sunday aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old war in Afghanistan and pushing neighboring nations to work together in the fight against al-Qaida and Taliban extremists.
Clinton landed in Islamabad where she will underscore the need for Afghan-Pakistani cooperation in winning the war but also announce plans to beef up U.S. development assistance to Pakistan, which is rife with anti-American sentiment.
In talks with Pakistani leaders and public outreach events on Sunday and Monday, Clinton is seeking to convince the Pakistan that the U.S. is committed to the country's long-term development needs and not just short-term security gains. This, officials say, will lead to greater Pakistani cooperation on key U.S. policy goals.
Clinton plans to announce about $500 million in several new development programs _ funded by a bill approved by Congress last year to triple nonmilitary aid to Pakistan with $1.5 billion a year over five years _ that will focus on water, energy, agriculture and health.
Still, officials concede, mistrust of America runs deep in Pakistan, particularly over unmanned drone strikes which are aimed at militants but kill or maim civilians and to many Pakistanis represent an unacceptable violation of sovereignty.
Vali Nasr, a deputy to U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, told reporters traveling with Clinton that overcoming the suspicion remains a work in progress.
"We're beginning to see movement, but this is not going to happen overnight," he said. "We're not going to be able to get them aligned over a one-year time period on every single issue and change 30 years of foreign policy of Pakistan on a dime."
Equally important, officials say, is getting Pakistan and Afghanistan on the same page.
Holbrooke said last week that "nothing could be more important to the resolution of the war in Afghanistan than a common understanding between Afghanistan and Pakistan on what their strategic purpose is."
After Pakistan, Clinton will attend an international conference on Afghanistan in Kabul on Tuesday.
Her visit there comes as American lawmakers and voters are increasingly questioning the course of the drawn-out war with rising death tolls among U.S. and international troops and growing questions about corruption.
Last month was the deadliest of the war for international forces: 103 coalition troops were killed, despite the infusion of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops. So far in July, 54 international troops have died, 39 of them American. An American service member was killed by a blast in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, and an American died in a blast in the south on Friday.
Later in the week, Clinton will meet up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in South Korea, where tensions with the communist North have risen after the sinking of a South Korean warship that was blamed on the North.
She will finish her trip in Vietnam for discussions with regional leaders. Among the topics will be the upcoming elections in Myanmar.