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US: Pakistan Lagging in Afghanistan War Effort

The Obama administration has criticized Pakistan's efforts against al-Qaida and Taliban militants, saying years after the conflict began, there remains "no clear path" toward defeating the insurgency on their side of the border with Afghanistan.

The administration said Tuesday in a report to Congress that Pakistan's military is on its third attempt in two years to clear militants from one particular area, Mohmand. This, the White House says, is a "clear indicator" that Pakistan's military is unable to keep insurgents from returning to areas they have already cleared.

But the report says U.S. efforts in Afghanistan have made progress, though it notes the gains are still fragile. There has also been a spike in civilian casualties as the Taliban increases attacks on "soft targets" such as a supermarket, a government building, and others. This increase of "murder and intimidation tactics," the report says, is an indication the Taliban feels "under pressure."

The comments appear as part of a semi-annual assessment of the war in Afghanistan. The assessment comes just a few months before the U.S. is set to begin withdrawing some of its 100,000 troops there.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.