The Haqqani Network: Nexus of Terror

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Contact: Megan Ortagus
(863) 398-8164 cell
October 13, 2010

Jeffrey Dressler’s detailed examination of the Haqqani network reveals the group’s deadly alliance with the Pakistani Army and Al Qaeda

Washington, D.C. - The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has released its sixth report in the Afghanistan series, The Haqqani Network: From Pakistan to Afghanistan by Jeffrey Dressler. This comprehensive study details the history of the Haqqani network, its leadership structure, the organization’s current operations in Afghanistan, and efforts by coalition and Afghan forces to target this most lethal enemy group.

The Haqqani network is a terrorist organization operating out of North Waziristan, Pakistan, and across Afghanistan’s southeastern provinces. Although this organization does not have international name recognition, like Al Qaeda, the Haqqanis have proved to be a lethal insurgent group with a history of close ties to Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI.

"Of all Afghan insurgent groups, the Haqqani network maintains the closest ties to Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and other transnational terrorist groups in the tribal areas of Pakistan," explained Jeff Dressler of the Institute for the Study of War. "Therefore, degrading and defeating the Haqqani network should be one of America's preeminent goals in the war on terror."

Download The Haqqani Network: From Pakistan to Afghanistan by Jeffrey Dressler

Key facts from the report:

  • The Haqqani network, which has the backing of elements within the Pakistani security establishment, is one of Afghanistan’s most experienced and sophisticated insurgent organizations.
  • Elements within the Pakistani security establishment continue to view the Haqqani network as a useful ally and proxy force to represent their interests in Afghanistan. To this end, Haqqani forces have repeatedly targeted Indian infrastructure and construction projects in Afghanistan.
  • Until recently, U.S. and coalition troops lacked sufficient forces to reverse the momentum of the Haqqani network. The massive increase of special operations and conventional military forces over the past year is beginning to disrupt the Haqqani networks’ infrastructure and operations.
  • An increased drone campaign against senior Haqqani safe havens in North Waziristan has disrupted the network’s ability to plan and execute operations. Despite recent progress, network cells have demonstrated its ability to regenerate if not continually pressured.

To request Mr. Dressler for a media interview, please contact ISW Communications Director Megan Ortagus or (863) 398-6184

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.