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Thread: Pakistani politics (catch all)

  1. #201
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Best response is...

    David...I say the best response by the Pakistani government is to move more Pak troops from Indian border to Afghan border and kill a huge number of Taliban and al Qaida. These backward rural folks like to be with a winner, whoever it may be, and the Gov't of Pakistan can most effectively keep popular support by flat out fighting long term, occupying former loosely governed northern provinces, and using the big stick regularly against the terrorists.

    Trying to dialolgue with and coddle the terrorists will not, has not, and never will work. It is a Catch 22 best delt with, my view, by perpetual pro-active military action.

    You can't operate a civil society under terrorist occupatin, and it is equally hard to do so under Pak rule...unless you defeat, occupy, and then administer using formerly unused locals to run local governance but keeping them all on a short reign.

  2. #202
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default No North Waziristan?

    From this: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...my_rejec_1.php and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...062904241.html .No pakistani Army plan to attack. Pondering this, tactical or a return to the 'stop, start' approach? In view of the local conditions, with Pakistani legitimacy being challenged, is this a wise move?

    davidbpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-01-2009 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Add WAPO link

  3. #203
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default War by Pakistan is hot and growing

    Please note the growing number of Pakistani Pakhtun ethnic background Army/Special Forces obituaries I continue to post (another today, July 1) on SWJ. These deaths are evidence that the war is indeed hot. What you and others are running into is the verbal stuff the Pak government puts out, retracts, puts out, etc. to pacify factions of the fractured population, primarly in the northern areas of Pakistan.

    My view, in any case.

  4. #204
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Looking back, to go forward

    In this CCO newsletter thread: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=7697 there is a short interview with Robert Armitage and this is his first Q&A, which is very interesting on the interaction with ISI (my emphasis added; note rest of interview is behind a 'wall'):

    MM: What, if anything, surprised you taking on the challenges of Afghanistan and Iraq?
    RA: Well, they’re completely different places. I found that Afghanistan was an absolutely necessary war; they struck us, and we had to strike back. What surprised me was how quickly we morphed from a fight against al Qaeda—that is, from foreigners (Uzbeks, Pakistanis, Saudis, even Uighers)—to the Taliban after coexisting with the Taliban for so long. The Taliban wasn’t really fighting us too much; they weren’t helping us, but they weren’t fighting us, either—so again how quickly that morphed was the big surprise. The second surprise was frankly how successful we were for the first 4 years—almost 5 years—at keeping the ISI (Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence) relatively out of it. They were so shocked with the speed at which we invaded Afghanistan that I think the ISI felt it was only a matter of time till we prevailed. But as we broadened our scope to the Taliban, we both brought out some antipathies that Pashtuns have against foreigners, and we also made it more difficult to be able to accomplish our “objective.” So how do you declare victory when you completely change the target?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-02-2009 at 11:57 AM.

  5. #205
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Yes, the public support the state

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The ex-Pakistani Ambassador in the USA and High Commissioner in the UK, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, where she is widely admired, has written this article: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=185627davidbfpo
    Support for the author comes from opinion polling (face to face) in Pakistan: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pi...d=&pnt=619&lb= Nice graphics, although I am a little sceptical about polling in Pakistan.

    davidbfpo

  6. #206
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Looks like Pakistan is opting to go down the enemy-centric route for its Waziristan operation.

    Pakistan's forthcoming military operation in Waziristan will rely on air power rather than on ground offensives, an approach that isn't likely to eliminate the homegrown extremists and probably will disappoint Western allies, according to Pakistani officials and analysts.

    ...

    Artillery, jet fighters and attack helicopters will be used to wear down the Islamist guerrillas, but ground forces will play a limited role in the mountainous landscape of Waziristan, which strongly favors guerrilla warfare and where the Taliban are deeply entrenched, the officials and analysts said. U.S. pilotless drones, which are armed with missiles and sophisticated technology to home in on individuals, might augment Pakistani air power.

    ...

    "The nature of the operation is totally different from what we did in Swat," said a senior Pakistani security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "It is just blocking the entrance. Nothing goes in, nothing comes out. We'll keep punishing (the enemy) with long arms, air (power), Cobra (helicopters).

    ...

    A security expert who's knowledgeable about Pakistan's plans said that the aim of the South Waziristan move was to "disrupt" and "punish" Mehsud's network, not to engage in a ground battle that could lead to significant casualties among soldiers. He said ground troops would be used for "search and cordon" incursions against high-value targets: Mehsud and his senior commanders. The expert asked not to be identified, as he wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
    Any bets on the success of this particular strategy?

  7. #207
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Any bets on the success of this particular strategy?
    It *might* work, in the short run, if it is co-ordinated with coalition efforts in Afghanistan and, at the same time, tied in with local "uprisings" against the Taliban (i.e. people either switching sides - again - or getting fed up with them). I think a lot with depend on sending a co-ordinated message in both the IO and kinetic spheres.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
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  8. #208
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    Default

    - they'll just spend more time on the Afghan side of the fence for a while, its in their DNA

  9. #209
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Durand "Line Dance"

    ...and the US Marines are waiting for the bums on the Afghan side of the border!

    Touche!

  10. #210
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I'll just throw my own guess: it won't work. Airstrikes and SSG raids didn't work before, and it won't work again, except to absolutely convince everyone in South Waziristan that Islamabad is their enemy, not their government.

    I don't care if you kill Beitullah Mehsud with one of these strikes, as I expect we will one of these days. The TTP will not overrun Pakistan, but it is successfully creating its own zone where the Pakistani government by its own admittance cannot go. As long as this occurs, the Swat Valley op will have to be done again and again and again. The TTP must be challenged comprehensively in its own territory by adequately resourced government troops unafraid of close combat.

  11. #211
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default We do not disagree, but all progress is welcome @ this point in time

    Concur...if you read other postings I did today, 7/14/09 you will find similar remarks, in more detail, by me together with a link to related article in 7/14/09 WASHINGTON POST.

  12. #212
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Swat Valley operation

    I've not combed the web for support, but my understanding is that two full divisions and five SF groups were deployed for the operation.

    Now according to the IISS Military Balance Pakistan has eighteen infantry divisions and one SF group (with three batts). Thanks to George's monitoring we know that the Frontier Corps SF (no numbers) and Azad Kashmir troops (with M113 APC) were deployed.

    Residents are reported to be returning, note in small numbers compared to the previously reported 2m displaced: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8150109.stm

    davidbfpo

  13. #213
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Leave it to the Scotland Yard folks to take the time to read the details and fine print to recognize unique elements of the Pak Army now in the Pak/Afghan/Swat fight against the Taliban and al Qaida.

    Folks I hear from privately in Lahore indicate that some of the divisions David mentions came from previous postings on the Pak/India border, and about time, too.

  14. #214
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pak Army "bottom up" changes

    An interesting review article on changes in Pakistan, note it cites a "bottom up" from a general in Bajaur Agency using a different approach to the Army and Frontier Corps doing COIN: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...kals?page=show (note the author's blogsite opens and then freezes computer).

    davidbfpo

  15. #215
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Swat Valley fight

    I missed the BBC TV Panorama documentary on the battle for Swat Valley, broadcast 28th June: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00l967g Commentary aside some good film of both sides. Grim on Taliban tactics: flogging a teenage girl, beheading soldiers and an attack on a mosque. Leaving aside 170 girls schools burnt out.

    davidbfpo

  16. #216
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Waziristan: those in the middle

    An interesting report on the civilians leaving South Waziristan to escape the conflict: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8152366.stm

    davidbfpo

  17. #217
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What did the Pakistani state ever do for me?

    A play on the Monty Python phrase in 'Life of Brian' and added here as an indication why Pakistanis ask what has the nation-state done for me. From a woman's point of view too: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/op...stof.html?_r=2

    Could funding this be seen as people to people and life-changing? So to mutual advantage. With Pakistan providing matching funds. Once can but dream!

    davidbfpo

  18. #218
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default NYT & ISI - the best guides to follow?

    What I found puzzling (being polite) is that the NYT article is based on a presentation by ISI. Yet more evidence IMHO of the "stop and go" strategy used so often by Pakistan before.

    Question(s) Pakistan is in crisis and needs to deploy more of it's army internally. Is there a current threat from India? A better way exists in Afghanistan in talking to (our) Taliban. Send us more US$ and we can help you, not our own people. Trust us (ISI).

    You got me persauded, thanks NYT.

    davidbfpo

  19. #219
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pakistan's 'mock war'

    The Australian has followed up the NYT & ISI article, with an interview with a Pakistani NWFP ANP politician (the ANP are in the national coalition government), who comments:

    These are mere mock operations in order to convince NATO and the US that Pakistan is serious (about fighting) extremists and that Pakistan is not the mother of extremism, in fact, extremists are being protected and promoted with the object of destabilising Afghanistan, to compel America to seek Pakistani support, give them dollars and, ultimately, make Afghanistan a stooge state of Pakistan.
    Regarding the failure in the Swat valley to get any leaders:

    Unless the principal germs -- who have sown the seeds of extremism -- are eradicated, how can we claim the disease has been eradicated? There should be precise operations and hot pursuit of these leaders (but) I am afraid they're being protected
    The full article: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...4-2703,00.html

    davidbfpo

  20. #220
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Operations in the FATA

    An interesting comment by a retired Pakistani Army brigadier, who served in the FATA for both military intelligence and ISI: http://watandost.blogspot.com/

    davidbfpo

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