May 13th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Friday Roundup: Taliban bombings rock Pakistan academy

Reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Executive Summary

- Taliban Bombings Rock Pakistan Academy

- Syria Locks Down Ahead of Protests

- Victims Claims Plan Approved by Japan

- HIV Breakthrough Protects Partners

Top of the Agenda: Taliban Bombings Rock Pakistan Academy

Two suicide attackers detonated bombs at a paramilitary academy (BBC) in the Pakistani frontier, killing eighty and injuring over a hundred. The attacks targeted newly trained cadets at the Frontier Constabulary, which is used to police the regions bordering the country's tribal areas.

A Taliban spokesman said the suicide assault "was the first revenge for Osama's martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan" (al-Jazeera). However, senior police officials doubt the Taliban's claims of responsibility, and suggest the operation was carried out by a splinter militant group working out of the local mountains of the Mohmand region (NYT) .

Authorities say the death toll is still climbing, and might end up becoming the deadliest attack on law enforcement in recent years. Analysts claim the violent episode is likely to feed Pakistani ire over the unilateral U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden, which has been depicted as a brash violation of state sovereignty (WSJ).

The national anger in Pakistan has been matched by frustration among some U.S. officials who have raised calls in Congress to significantly reduce the billions of dollars a year Pakistan receives in American aid.

Analysis:

Osama bin Laden's death has fueled renewed debate about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, with some experts and lawmakers in Congress calling for a speedier pullout schedule and less funding.

For the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, George Perkovich writes that Washington should end its reliance on the Pakistani security establishment so that it can more effectively promote civilian political and economic development in the country.

In this op-ed for CNN.com, CFR's James M. Lindsay discusses three potential options for the Obama administration in Afghanistan, including "staying the course," partial but quick withdrawal, and a full drawdown.

This blog post from the Economist discusses a recent public opinion poll administered by the Gallup organization in Pakistan.

 MIDDLE EAST: Syria Locks Down Ahead of Protests

The Syrian military began closing off entire areas, including checkpoints and roadblocks, in several cities, where mass anti-government protests (AP) are expected to occur after Friday prayers. Human rights observers say that nearly eight hundred people have been killed and thousands arrested since the uprising began in mid-March.

On his CFR blog Pressure Points, Elliott Abrams discusses seven theories to explain failed U.S. policy in Syria.

Egypt: Thousands of activists congregated in Cairo's Tahrir Square to rally against sectarian strife and express solidarity for Palestinian unity. Some demonstrators have called for a march to neighboring Gaza over the weekend to protest the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories (al-Jazeera).

With Israel facing a regional democratization movement, a unity pact between Hamas and Fatah, and a possible UN vote on Palestinian statehood, Netanyahu should offer a swap of territory in return for Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish state, says Israel expert David Makovsky.

PACIFIC RIM: Victims Claims Plan Approved by Japan

Japanese authorities approved a plan to help Tokyo Electric Power compensate victims of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant (Reuters) by issuing special-purpose bonds to help finance a claims fund. This will allow the company to remain solvent and will prevent uncertainty in the financial markets

China: Close to forty people were injured when a former employee detonated a gasoline bomb at a bank in China's northwestern Gansu province (LATimes).

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: Communist Rule Ends in West Bengal

The opposition group Trinamool Congress ended thirty-plus years of Communist rule (FT) in West Bengal after emerging victorious in Indian state elections. Analysts claim the region and its capital Calcutta have suffered a decline under Communist leadership compared with the rapid growth of cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. 

AFRICA: Several Killed in Uganda Clashes

Up to five opposition protestors were killed in the capital of Kampala (al-Jazeera) after attacking cars carrying African leaders at the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni. Since the presidential election, the opposition, including candidate Kizza Besigye, has led a series of demonstrations against high food and fuel prices.

Djibouti: The International Criminal Court (AP) reported Djibouti to the UN Security Council for failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during an official visit. The court has requested all nations attempt to apprehend al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes and genocide.

AMERICAS: HIV Breakthrough Protects Partners

Significant findings from a recent HIV/AIDS report (USNews) show that people with HIV can reduce the risk of passing it to their sex partners by over 90 percent if they begin antiretroviral treatment when their immune system is still relatively healthy.

United States: Some GOP congressmen, including Tea Party-supported freshmen, claim Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is exaggerating the dangers of not raising the nation's debt limit (WSJ) before August 2. The lawmakers suggest the deadline can be pushed back if Treasury takes further extraordinary measures.

EUROPE: First-Quarter Growth Surprises Eurozone

The seventeen-nation Eurozone economy (BBC) grew by 0.8 percent in the first quarter, up from 0.3 percent in the previous. Looking at individual countries, economists say the figures highlight the "two-speed" nature of the region's growth–with countries like Germany and France moving ahead of other lagging economies.

Spain: Thousands of mourners attended funeral mass for the nine people killed in the earthquake that struck the southern city of Lorca (DeutscheWelle). The Spanish government is rapidly trying to accommodate thousands of homeless still stranded by the disaster.

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Topics: Daily Roundup • Pakistan • Syria

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. RAJ

    When one develops cobra snake farm then one day they will also get bitten sreiously. Pakistan ISI and Military must have assured terrorist group that they will protect Bin Laden and terrorist group must have felt that they did not do what they promised and taken action against military establishment first. USA can withdraw military and financial aid to Pakistan very easily. Thenafter, we will invite major problems in the future for USA, like terrorist will have more hold on Pakistan and Iraq and then after for them to get smart bomb will be very easy. As soon as they get hold of smart bombs they will target India, USA and Israel first with proper planning. Once this terrorist have upper hand in Pakistan and Iraq then they will get lots of financial help from fanatics muslims group of the world. Before taking any hasty emotional decision USA must think seriously and intelligently for future problems. Best bet is to focus more on Drone attack, support Pakistan to find more terrorist with reall strong pressure against any future aid, demand from Pakistan to have strong hold on ISI and Military establishment by civil goverment.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Well said Raj. I might add, if USA cuts off aid to Pakistan, Pakistan cuts off supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Cutting off aid is not an option.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  2. john dahodi

    PAKISTAN has lost more than 120 their own military people in the last week after the killing of Bin Laden. Not only that but it has received hard criticism from the USA and around the Globe for not locating Ben Ladin. If it is not enough, they received threats of cutting in military aid and the worst; military attacks by the USA if not carry out their dirty work of controlling Al-Qaida and Taliban. Are all these punishment to Pakistan is meaningful? Can we think little more and find out who has created Ben Ladin, Taliban and Afghan WAR? Can we continue this war even for a week without the help of Pakistan? Is this war is in Pakistan's interest? So far Pakistan has lost more than35,000 their own military and innocent people to fight our war. The money we paid so far can pay for that loses? The best way out is to hand over the dirty region of Afghanistan to Karzai, the known thug to whom we have installed and let them to run their own affair. It is a wrong war and will never be WON by any one. Because we are not fighting against known enemies but we are fighting against the public and their ideology and will never change that.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  3. amina

    I think that Pakistan is very badly recognized for teenagers training for suicide bombers. We can't blame Pakistan for this.
    Pakistan and its people are suffering from tough time. Pakistan government should take strict actions against it.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  4. Noel Cortopassi

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    July 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
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    October 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply

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