As reported in The Nation (October 5), the White House National Security Adviser James Jones has pointed to Al-Qaeda 'sanctuaries in Pakistan as the main reason for failure of the US efforts in Afghanistan. That is nothing new because just about everyone in the US government, whether civilians or military men, have been advancing this kind of excuses to cover up for their governments failures in Afghanistan. Not being up to the challenge they took upon themselves, they want Pakistan to fight their dirty war for them. When Pakistan is weakened and starts to fray in the process, they would advance the case to establish more bases in Pakistan in their fight against China. US officials acknowledge Pakistani troops need more armoured vehicles and night-vision devices to protect themselves against the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the most lethal weapon used by the Taliban but have been unable to provide the same. And the queer thing is that they do not promise to supply these anytime soon yet want Pakistan to go ahead with the Waziristan operation without any delay. The US authorities have been unable to convince their own lawmakers to consent to the transfer of unused equipment from Iraq to Pakistan. According to them, Washington is also trying to secure some equipment through other governments but those efforts are, apparently, moving slowly. Contrast this with the US cooperation with Israel whom they supplied millions of cluster bombs by air in a jiffy to drop on civilians of Beirut in the recent Lebanon war with Hezbollah. Also, for Israels savage attack on Gaza in the war last year, they ensured constant flow of ammunitions to Israel during the attack. There were no problems with permission of the lawmakers that usually crop up when Pakistan asks for essential equipment like night-vision devices, precision equipment, armoured vehicles and helicopters that, Americans agree, are needed urgently in the war against Taliban. -S. R. H. HASHMI, Karachi, October 7.