Friday, April 24, 2009

Taliban Begins PullBack In Pakistan In Exchange For Imposed Sharia.

Taliban forces agreed to begin a pullback today to their Swat and Northwest Frontier strongholds from the areas they invaded during the past week on the outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Under the deal, officials agreed to allow strict Islamic law to be imposed in Swat and six surrounding districts, including Buner, in exchange for the Taliban fighters laying down their weapons.

Regional officials announced shortly after noon that the militant forces would leave the Buner district by night, and television news channels showed dozens of masked, heavily armed Taliban fighters driving out of Buner's main town in trucks and vans.

Buner is a district just outside of the capitol of Islamabad and one of the areas the Taliban had invaded, and I assume that part or all of Mansehra and Haripur are included as well. So the deal is sharia (and de facto Taliban control and access) in exchange for pulling back the fighters. That's pretty much how the Taliban took over Swat and the NWFP areas in Waziristan.

The army made some serious sounding noises about attacking the Taliban if they refused to pull back, but I personally don't think they had the stomach to fight an Islamist group that a decent portion of the high command sympathize with just to preserve the Zardari government.Nor are they equipped tactically to fight a non-conventional war in the regions in question.

In the mean time, the Taliban has gained an important victory and extended its reach and influence at very little cost. This is definitely not going to end here.


louielouie said...

The army made some serious sounding noises about attacking the Taliban if they refused to pull back,no matter what, i bet the state dept. takes credit for this. it was, of course, only an existential threat, but the pakistanis speaking out forcefully i bet is what did it.
wake me when hussein leads a SQUAD in the invasion of pakistan.
now that we have re-gained so much of our standing in the world.

Freedom Fighter said...

He'd be crazy to send troops in unless we're prepared to occupy it for years and spend millions there on nation building.

Better to take out the nukes, remove a threat and ourselves and just monitor the situation as necessary. I'd probably kidnap most of Pakistan's nuke scientists while I was at it, including AQ Kahn.

Anonymous said...

He'd be crazy to send troops in unless we're prepared to occupy it for years and spend millions there on nation building.Or at least fight to win something other than hearts and minds. Such as push from Afghanistan, have the Indian army push from India and meet up in the middle. It worked in Europe in 1945.

But that was before the U.N. and also the last time we actually fought to win.

So we might as well stay out (after confiscating the nukes and associated scientists).

B.Poster said...

The Taliban/Al Qaeda without nukes were a far greater threat to America than Nazi Germany or Umperial Japan ever were or likely ever could have been. Al Qaeda/the Taliban with nukes is an unimaginably greater threat. I'm willing to entertain any possibility to defeat them or neutralize them.

Freedom Fighters suggestion of taking out the nukes and kidnapping the scientists sounds like a good idea. The problem is implementation. In order to take out the nukes, you need to have a good idea where they are. The same thing applies to kidnapping the scientists. You need to know where they are and you need to be able to get military forces into the area in order to carry out the operation. Keep in mind also that the nunkes and the scientists are going to be VERY well guarded.

Given the past failurrs of US intellegence, I think it is highly unlikely that the CIA or other US intellegence agencies are going to be able to pinpoint the location of either the nukes or the scientists with enough degree of certainty to have a reasonable chance of successfully carrying out the mission. Also, even if US intellegence could pin point the location of the nukes and the nuke scientists, the US military is worn precariously close to the breaking point from the continued operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere in the "War on Terrorism." As such, the availablity of troops with the training that would be needed to successfully carry out the mission are to few to give the mission a reasonable chance of success.

Given these factors, taking out the nukes and the nuke scientists is simply not a viable option. Meaning no disrespect to anyone the US lacks the ability to implement this option at this time.

The Indian military is likely vastly superior to America's right now and India is in a better financial position than America is right now. India might well be in a position to take out the Pakistani nukes and to neutralize the Pakistani nuke scientists.

Walterc's suggestion sounds like a viable option. The Indian and American forces would need to complete the operation quickly. America is in a precarious financial postion and likely would be unable to sustain a long range operation. Ameruca's financial position was precarious even BEFIRE President Obama tacked on even more national debt. If this option is to be implemented, the best way for the Aemricans to help would be through air support for Indian forces.

Givne the worn down nature of America's military and the likely better leadership and morale among the Indian forces, the operation has a much greater chance for success if the Indians are placed in charge of the operation. This will mean placing American forces under the command of Indian military leaders. It just might work but it will require the cooperation of the Americans and the Indians.

I'm not sure the American people have the stomach to carry out this operation nor do I have much confidence that America has the ability to carry its load in such an operation right now. As such, I would suspect India will be reluctant to work with Aemrica in this capacity.

I really think the best option for the United States right now is to withdraw entirely from Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East and to redeploy in defensible positions along the borders. I fully concede I could be completely wrong in my analysis and absolutely no disrespect is meant to anyone.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
How are you?

Somehow I have to convince you that America's military is neither worn down or inferior to countries like disrespect meant to them of course.You really ought to spend some time corresponding with members of our military as I do and see if they consoider themselves 'broken.'

As for India being reluctant to help disarm Pakistan's nukes, I have to disagree with you - they'd jump at the chance as quickly as the IDF would partner up wth the US to take out Iran's nukes!

That said, the current commander-in-chief is not likely to do any of this - might upset the Muslims he's trying so desperately to cozy up to.

What we're likely to see (and I hope Obama doesn't do this) is an abortive US thrust into Taliban territory in Swat, in coordination with our Pakistani 'allies'. That would be exactly the kind of half-assed, stupid and ill thought out gesture I'd expect from him unfortunately. And it will achieve nothing.