Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Waziristan = Talibanistan?

Tony Blankley reflects on some sobering news about a "separate peace" between Pakistan and Waziristan:

Whatever is going on in Pakistan (and we must hope that the men who replace Musharraf sooner or later will not be more sympathetic to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and will be at least as careful in controlling their nuclear weapons), our effort to stand up Afghanistan and suppress the Taliban and al Qaeda in the region has suddenly taken on an even more formidable dimension.


There are no ready solutions to the dilemma. With Pakistan now hors de combat, our already undermanned forces in Afghanistan will soon have to engage the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan -- fighting some of the world’s most resourceful and cruel fighters in the most unforgiving lands on earth.

Read the whole thing, as well as this.

Update: And then read this for a somewhat more hopeful analysis of the events. I’d love to think that RC2 is right that this actually frees our hands somewhat in Waziristan.

Update #2: This WaPo article offers some more information, but doesn’t settle anything. This AP story offers evidence that Taliban activity has increased since the Pakistanis signed the accord.

Discussions - 6 Comments

From the Wheat and Weeds article: I have a gut feeling the true meaning of the withdrawal of the Paki army from the region is that no one will be around to complain when the US moves in on Osama (and Zawahiri).

Exactly what I was thinking as I read the first two articles.

...their remarks come precisely in the context of a question about whether the US could now go into Pakistan to get Osama.

Waziristan will no longer be part of Pakistan. We won’t be going into Pakistan, period. Will small teams of special forces and CIA officers be with local tribes as they surround Osama and Zawahiri within the month?....Rove’s October surprise?

U.G.
Yes, that was the most hopeful point in any of those articles. Maybe a risky October surprise. I was trying to look up information, geographic included, on the region and it looks rough. I couldn’t FIND much info, but that may say more about my Internet search skills than anything else. Google Earth has not bothered much with that area. Haven’t there been problems going into mountain regions with ground troops before? Which I why, I suppose, you suggest local tribes. Massive aerial bombardments seem to go over well with the American public. So if it is an assault to produce a political result here - - but I suppose I am presuming we have someplace to fly from.


I do hope you guys, who between you seem to know almost everything, come up with some positives on this thing.

I claim no expertise and know only what I read, but please note that halfway down in the AP story comes the (small!) detail that it might not be the pact that’s causing the increase in attacks --it might be the US Army’s offensive "Operation Mountain Fury." Increased attacks aren’t necessarily bad news. The question is --who wins those battles?

RC2,

You’re right that there are likely multiple causes of the activity. I’m hoping (with you, as I recall) that the effectual "independence" of Waziristan means that we can cross the border in pursuit of targets.

Isn’t the "Musharraf Plan" pretty much the "Democrat/John Kerry/Bill Clinton/European Plan" for dealing with the terrorist threat? Retreat, yield territory, cross our fingers and hope they leave us alone. And, if they do strike, treat it as a matter of domestic law enforcement. As long as al-Qaeda and the Taliban don’t threaten his regime too vociferously, Musharraf is happen with the status quo.

Also I don’t quite understand the obsession with "getting" OBL in the liberal mind. When we "got" Zarqawi they sniffed that it wouldn’t make any difference. Presumably if OBL got a cruise missile enema tomorrow, they’d say the same thing. I think it’s a very cheap ploy on their part to instill a "whack-a-mole" image of Bush’s hunt for OBL.

My personal view is that formally yielding Waziristan merely ratifies facts already on the ground. The Pakis haven’t been much in the fight and this is a formal recognition of that. There may be some "winking" going on behind the scenes on the part of the Pakis, or at least certain parts of their army that haven’t been co-opted by the Islamists. It’s probably also an indication the Pakis don’t want a two-front war, their main focus being India, and a lesser extent China.

Although I read the article at a glance and was discouraged, these comments have cheered me up a bit. I never thought of the possibility that we’re now going to be free to infiltrate the border regions at will, without the embarassing problems of infringing on Pakistan’s sovereignty. And yes, hooking up with local tribes is probably how it will go down. The Taliban was toppled by only a few hundred US troops on the ground who were working in conjunction with the independant Afghani warlords. Giving that the Taliban/al-Qaeda are already killing and oppressing the local tribes, I don’t think finding support for our SpecOps will be a problem.

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