December 8th, 2009
11:39 AM ET

Around the Web: The fight in Pakistan

The Pakistani Taliban are waiting the weather out and will take on the military when winter arrives in Pakistan's tribal region, said Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsud in a phone call with CNN.

"We will wait till January for our offensive since we are stronger during the snowing season," Mehsud said.

He told CNN he remains confident despite the large-scale military operation currently targeting him and his fighters in the province of South Waziristan.

David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt of the New York Times report that the Obama administration is “turning up the pressure on Pakistan to fight the Taliban inside its borders.”

“The blunt message was delivered in a tense encounter in Pakistan last month, before President Obama announced his new war strategy, when Gen. James L. Jones, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, and John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief, met with the heads of Pakistan’s military and intelligence service,” they write.

On the home front, a study published in the journal Pediatrics “suggests youth from military families may have higher stress levels and emotional problems than other adolescents and teens,” reports CNN.com’s Elizabeth Landau.

“The study found an association between how long a parent had been deployed in the last three years and the difficulties that children faced,” Landau writes. “It also found a link between the mental health of the nondeployed parent at home and the well-being of the child. “

Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the U.S. missed an opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Tora Bora in 2001.

“Eight years ago this month, Osama bin Laden walked out of the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan and disappeared into Pakistan,” Kerry writes in an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times.  

 “U.S. intelligence agencies have no real idea where he is today, but it is clear that the world's most wanted man and the terrorist organization he leads have reemerged as a powerful force behind the increasingly deadly insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Some other news and perspectives:

 - Washington Post: “Taliban shadow officials offer concrete alternative

- BBC: “U.K. soldier becomes the 100th to die in Afghanistan in 2009

- Steve Coll (New Yorker): “Another reason for 2011

- Haider Ali Hussein Mullick (Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel): “Marketing the U.S. in Pakistan

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