Pakistan Lost II
Back in December both Bill Roggio and I said Swat was lost, (Pakistan Lost.) The post is ironically titled – Swat itself is a beautiful mountain paradise, or could be without the Taliban infestation. Traveling to Swat now would be like going upriver to meet Colonel Kurtz. Here’s what I said back then:
The military operation in Swat against the Taliban has failed, and Swat is lost for all intents and purposes. Girl’s schools will close, and what was once a world class tourist destination will devolve into a primitive hell hole to which nobody in their right mind will go.
Others are beginning to notice as well and agree:
Bill Roggio’s Latest article on Swat
What the others aren’t telling you is that Radio Maulana, aka Mullah Earthquake, or Mullah Fazlullah has been around for years and years, and the original TNSM terror group gave flanking cover and distraction as cannon fodder for Al Qaeda’s escape from Tora Bora. If you’ve read this blog the past two years you know exactly who this fellow is. (Here’s a search on TNSM, with articles running back to 2006 – you can also see that back in Dec. 2007 victory was prematurely declared in Swat by Pakistan’s military.)
4 thoughts on “Pakistan Lost II”
Bad, sad news. And is it just me or does the Government seem content to just let it happen?
“When the army does act, its near-total lack of preparedness to fight a counterinsurgency reveals itself. Its usual tactic is to lob artillery shells into a general area, and the results have seemed to hurt civilians more than the militants, residents say.
In some parts of Pakistan, civilian militias have risen to fight the Taliban. But in Swat, the Taliban’s sweeping takeover amid such a large army presence has convinced many people that the military must be conspiring with the Taliban.
“It’s very mysterious how they get so much weapons and support,” while nearby districts are comparatively calm, said Muzaffar ul-Mulk Khan, a member of Parliament from Swat, who said his home outside Mingora had recently been destroyed by the Taliban.
“We are bewildered by the military. They patrol only in Mingora. In the rest of Swat they sit in their bases. And the militants can kill at will anywhere in Mingora,” he said.
“Nothing is being done by the government,” Khan added.”
It has been reported that the Taliban troops are believed to number between 2000 -4000. The Pakistani military has four brigades with 12,000 to 15,000 men in Swat.
Something’s wrong with this picture.
I suspect the weps are Iranian in origin, the current PPP and ANP leadership is definitely not conspiring but they are fearful. I think they laid down after a number of them and their families got assassinated and threatened.
Punitive jabs have ever been the way in the frontiers, and they will not work to root out the terrorists there. You must go head hunting for all of the leaders to do that.
Zardari’s recent nod to “Puntonkhwa” or whatever the new region is to be called is signal enough of where it’s going. I suspect the options they are looking at are to either allow the breakaway, and let the rest of the world deal with it, kill all the terror leaders, or spiral down the path toward Somalia hood.
Wow. Worse than I thought. If they take over Pak within the next decade or two (maybe sooner?), if left to their designs of course, one could see them starting a hot nuke war with India over Kashmir. So what mahdi are they up to? Just kidding.
Jon just to clarify I don’t forsee them taking over all of Pakistan. The Sindh and Punjab provinces are where the bulk of the population lies, and where the moderates live, and they can if they willed it, crush the jihadis. The will isn’t there at the moment, but if things become dire or too extreme I would wager that the will would be found. There is large potential for decay and mayhem, destabilization, and potentially rise of another military dictatorship if the current government doesn’t start doing better. Over the long term it could become like Somalia, but it’s an unlikely extreme possibility.
The game right now for AQ and the Taliban is to make the frontiers defacto separate states, and to create as much “wilderness” or ungoverned area at the fringes of the Punjab and Sindh as they can. (this is the new AQ military doctrine – they can’t win a war, but they can nibble and destabilize.) They will steadily march those unstable areas further by bits and pieces however it’s a process of decades. Something will change before they get that far I hope.
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