Oct 11 2009
The Taliban could be finished in 2010. Things are looking up for Pakistan and the UN-mandated mission in Afghanistan.
The strategic error the Pakistani Taliban have made is game-changing. The Taliban attack on Pakistan’s army HQ means Pakistan now has no choice but to smash the fanatical thugs in what will likely be an extremely bloody operation.
Pakistan’s generals would have been happy to play a double game for years, propping up the Taliban in Afghanistan while making a show of sporadic and ineffective combat against the Taliban on their home turf, in return for billions in unconditional US military aid. No longer.
For eight years, Americans have been trying to bribe and cajole the Pakistani army to finally go into South Waziristan and do what the army of a rational state is supposed to do — enforce sovereignty right up to it’s national border. In the end, all of the logical prodding and cash-filled briefcases they’ve given their “ally” were for nothing. Many critics of the Pakistanis assumed the only thing that could get them to really take on the Taliban would be a direct attack on their masters — and now the thugs have obliged.
Some will argue that the Pakistanis simply don’t have enough military power to pacify the region where the Taliban rules. But now even Pakistan’s most recalcitrant generals should be willing to move a million troops from the Indian border into this fight. That’s a start.
Perhaps the newly emboldened Pakistani army will even be able to capture Osama in the Taliban’s home turf. You never know what they might find, now that they’ve got the stomach to do what they should have been doing for the past eight years.