Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 20, 2009

Rah-i-Nijat Tuesday update

Filed under: International HLS,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on October 20, 2009

Following are some non-US media links reporting on unfolding events  in Pakistan.

Chief of Army Staff Kayani writes to Mehsud tribal leaders. (DAWN)

DAWN editorial on Wazirstan operation. “It will be difficult to know when ‘victory’ has been won.”

Tuesday  attack on International Islamic University.  Women and law faculty targeted. (BBC)

Pakistan cuts deal with anti-American Militants (AP)

Pakistan forces making progress (Aljazeera)

Pakistan plans to overwhelm Taliban within two weeks (The Telegraph)

It is my perspective that this operation is directly relevant to homeland security given what we think we know about the location of “core al-Qaeda” and the relationship between AQ and the Taliban in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and elsewhere.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 20, 2009 @ 11:40 am

Okay Phil I agree this op is directly relevant to HS. So what is DHS or other homeland security personnel doing to support it?

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 3, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

So Phil what is your take on events in the ops so far?

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 3, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

I have not been staying completely up-to-date while working on the Long Blog. But — for what it’s worth, potentially subtractive — some impressions:

1. I have been surprised there have not been more Taliban counter attacks in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and — especially — Karachi. The attacks that have come seem opportunistic and politically stupid.

2. From what we can tell, the Pakistani army is making good progress in South Waziristan. The Taliban claim to be retreating in order to draw the army into a trap seems less and less credible. Today’s capture of Sararogha and Kanigoram is consistent with the Pakistan army’s timetable, maybe even ahead of schedule. Kanigoram was supposedly the Uzbek HQ. If they captured/killed those bad guys, it would be quite a tactical success.

3. Weather is a big part of the equation now. But I notice it was 80 farenheit in Bannu today. Until the snows come, the army can do plenty of damage to Taliban/AQ facilities and supplies. Follow the weather at http://www.weathercity.com/pk/nw/bannu/

It is likely that Taliban/AQ leadership have already relocated. So we should not expect a decisive victory. It is not that kind of war. But the South Waziristan Ops is a further degradation of capacity and serious distraction.

Again, for what its worth.

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