Thursday, January 17, 2008

Taliban Overrun Pakistani Forts

Pakistan's military suffered a significant defeat today, as the Taliban and their allies overran one fort yesterday in South Waziristan near the Afghan border, seizing equipment and arms and killing a number of soldiers before fading back into the hills. A second military fort was abandoned after theTaliban warned Pakistani troops in the garrison to leave or face an attack.

The Taliban forces were commanded by Baitullah Mehsud. Musharraf has blamed Mehsud's group, Tehrik-e-Taliban, for 19 suicide attacks that killed more than 450 people over the last three months.

After the Taliban abandoned the forts, the Pakistani army rushed troops into the area, supported by heavy artillery and Cobra helicopter gunships, but the successful attack points out the difficulty President Musharraf is having in coping with the Islamist insurgency, who have been able to pull off increasingly bold attacks, including suicide bombings.

Oddly enough the success of the Islamists might just provide some light at the end of the tunnel.

If the Pakistani military is unable to defeat the Taliban on its own, President Musharraf and even some of the opposition parties may soon decide that it's better to allow outside intervention from NATO and the US to suppress the Taliban rather than face the end of their regime and the collapse of Pakistan into a failed terrorist run enclave.

In fact that time may be drawing near, as evidenced by the recent US troop buildup in neighboring Afghanistan.

This is a direct result of Musharraf's attempts to appease and make truces with people like the Taliban an dal-Qaeda, and should be a good lesson to anyone thinking along the same lines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The US is stretched pretty thin with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and some NATO allies have refused to llow their troops to fight. I'm not even sure the US could commit the troops to Pakistan that would be needed.

What is needed is for the Pakistanis to fight effectively, if they wish to save their regime. We need allies here who can operate in an effective manner completely independently of the US. Unless we can get allies who can fight effectively independently of us., I'm not optimistic that the war against Islamic terrorists can be won.