Thursday, April 23, 2009


"Taliban militants have established control in the strategically important area of Buner, only 70 miles from Islamabad, law enforcement officials said."

“They take over Buner, then they roll into Mardan and that’s the end of the game,” a senior law enforcement official in North-West Frontier Province said. He asked that his name be withheld because was not authorized to speak to the news media.

The Taliban had pushed into the district from the neighboring Swat Valley, where the Pakistani Army agreed to a truce in mid-February and remains in its barracks.

In another sign that the Taliban were consolidating their control of Buner on Thursday, Taliban militants held a meeting, or jirga, with local elders and the local administration, residents said, agreeing to a similar truce to the one that has taken hold in Swat, residents said.

(NY Times)

So when is Pakistan going to fight back? A nuclear powered Taliban, now that's a black swan.


Pierre said...

Actually it's not... because it's already been predicted and is entirely plausible..

What it is is a shame. The intelligence community has been warning about a Pakistani collapse for years now...

Dody G. said...

Will India tolerate a Taliban Pakistan?

Pierre said...

Great question... we most likely won't go to war. There's nothing to gain from physically occupying Pakistan.

The most likely reactions are:
1) Mobilizing army to protect the border
2) Targetted air strikes/ special forces raids.
3) Perhaps one or two quick operations to knock out nuclear command centers/ destroy nuclear bunkers.

And I'm pretty sure US forces in the area will back - maybe even lead - these operations.

US and Indian armies and air forces have been training together for some years. Most of the army training was counter-insurgency - for exactly the kind of operations that such a situation would require. They're prepared.

Dody G. said...

One of more critical question is will the Pakistani Army tolerate Taliban. If they don't, the country will stand.

Pakistan has an estimate of 100 nuclear war heads. There's no way to eliminate those in just "a couple of operations".

But anyway, those are the worst case scenarios, things that are too terrible to contemplate at this moment.

At some point, the state must fight back otherwise the state of Pakistan will be encircle by Taliban and the noose will start to tighten.

Jesse said...

maybe i am playing with fire, but what makes the taliban unqualified to rule? maybe they can integrate into the political mainstream.

Dody G. said...

The entity that harbored al-Qaeda and its training camps while in power in Afghanistan and seek continuously to bring down the current effort in Afghanistan have no business to be in power.

If they bring down the government, you won't have Pakistan. You will have splintered areas, a larger mirror of what's going on when the government do not control a large swath of its own territory. We are talking about failed states like Somalia. Except this one have proven and demonstrated nuclear weapons.

I don't think India will tolerate this and we will see a fresh war in the sub-continent of Asia.

Pierre said...

Dody's got his first wish.. Pakistan's just sent its army against the Taliban. That idiotic truce was never going to last.

The question is, is this attack merely cosmetic; to temporarily get Obama and Co off their backs for a while...

Pakistan's army is famously independent of politics, which is a mild way of saying they do any damn thing they please. And elements in the ISI have long maintained connections with the Taliban. They're not going to cut them loose so easily...

Having said that, I still don't think you'll see an all out war if things get worse... there are more efficient ways to deal with the problem.

eXPerience called L!FE said...

Not sure, if they sent the armies, as all news media is talking about "talks" which prompted Taliban to move out.

I think Pierre is right. All this is cosmetic. Slowly but surely they will be back in Buner and advance further. By when will they have total control - is a waiting game.

What India will do - NOTHING. Just as always.

But this time around - India should definitely not work with US forces. India should secure its land border and have an increased vigilance in the Western coast. Let US set up its base or whatever in India and clear out the mess they created.

Dody G. said...

If a guess come to your house, pee in the middle of your living room and told you "if you promise you won't get upset, I won't get upset and get crazy", the appropriate respond is to get your baseball bat and chase him out of your house.

In the Swat valley agreement, Pakistan government said, "OK, I won't get upset".

Now your guess thinks your daughter is cute and he asks to stay in her bedroom...