Pakistan ignores US requests to tackle the Haqqani Network


The Pakistani government and military have rejected US requests to dismantle the deadliest Taliban network, which operates in eastern Afghanistan and is based in North Waziristan.

Pakistani officials refuse to take on the Haqqani Network, a Taliban group closely allied to al Qaeda, Mullah Omar's Quetta Shura, and Pakistan's military and intelligence services.

The Haqqani Network is behind some of the most deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan as well as a series of complex terror assaults that targeted Afghan ministries and Coalition forces.

Pakistani officials have responded negatively to US diplomatic demarches and a very public campaign by the US government to put pressure on Pakistan to act against the Haqqanis and the Quetta Shura, The New York Times reported. "Former Pakistani military officers voice irritation with the American insistence daily on television, part of a mounting grievance in Pakistan that the alliance with the United States is too costly to bear," according to the Times.

Pakistani officials claimed the US timeline on the Afghan 'surge' and Pakistan's desire to keep Mullah Omar and the Haqqanis as strategic depth against India and other actors in Afghanistan account for the intransigence. But US military and intelligence officials said Pakistan's military brass also fears that acting against the Haqqanis and Mullah Omar will fracture the services.

"Even if he wanted to moved against Haqqani, I think General Kiyani is concerned the move will spark the nationalist elements of the Army and ISI [the Inter-Services Intelligence] to side with the pro-Islamists, and spark a civil war within the military," said a senior US intelligence official contacted by The Long War Journal.

There is already a low-grade conflict within the military and intelligence services over the Pakistani Army's move against the Mehsud branch of the Taliban in South Waziristan and the tribal areas.

"The reality is the Taliban have been able to successfully conduct attacks against secured targets, particularly GHQ [Army General headquarters] in Rawalpindi, because they've had inside help," the official continued. "The military at least can say the TTP [the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan led by Hakeemullah Mehsud] is conducting attacks against Pakistan; Kiyani can't make that argument with the Haqqanis or the Quetta Shura. It would be a bridge too far."

US officials have very publicly leaked reports that the covert US air campaign would expand beyond the remote villages of the tribal areas and begin to target the Taliban and al Qaeda based in Quetta and Baluchistan. This also has infuriated much of the rank and file and the officer ranks in Pakistani military.

The US air campaign has focused on targeting the Haqqani Network and al Qaeda operatives sheltering in their tribal regions. Twelve of the last 15 strikes have taken place in North Waziristan, a region inhabited by Siraj Haqqani and Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar.

Last week, the US believed it killed Saleh al Somali, the leader of al Qaeda's external operations network, in a strike in the Haqqanis' territory.

The US is dependent on Pakistan's approval for the air campaign to expand beyond the tribal areas. The Pakistani military and government ultimately hold the upper hand, a senior US military officer reminded The Long War Journal. While the Pakistani government reaps the benefits of nearly $1.5 billion in US aid per year, the US is "reliant on Pakistan for our logistics into Afghanistan." An estimated 70 percent of the supplies for NATO pass though Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has pulled the plug on the logistic chain once in September 2008 in protest of a US air assault on a village in South Waziristan.

Siraj_Haqqani-1.jpg

Click to view slide show of the Haqqani Network. Pictured is a composite image of Siraj Haqqani.

Background on the Haqqani Network

The Haqqani Network is active in the Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Logar, Wardak, and Kabul, and provides support to Taliban networks in Kunar, Nangarhar, Helmand, and Kandahar provinces.

The Haqqanis have extensive links with al Qaeda and with Pakistan's military intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. These relationships have allowed the Haqqani Network to survive and thrive in North Waziristan. The Haqqanis control large swaths of North Waziristan, and run a parallel administration with courts, recruiting centers, tax offices, and security forces. Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan and a stronghold of the Haqqanis, is a hub of activity for jihadis from all over the world.

Siraj Haqqani, a son of Jalaluddin, has risen in prominence over the past few years. He is believed to be the mastermind of the most deadly attacks inside Afghanistan and to be the senior military commander in eastern Afghanistan. The US military has described Siraj as the primary threat to security in eastern Afghanistan.

Siraj is considered dangerous not only for his ties with the Afghan Taliban, but also because of his connections with al Qaeda's central leadership, which extend all the way to Osama bin Laden. On March 25, the US Department of State put out a $5 million bounty for information leading to the capture of Siraj.

Siraj is believed to be a member of al Qaeda's military shura, or council, US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal.



Advertisement:


READER COMMENTS: "Pakistan ignores US requests to tackle the Haqqani Network"

Posted by Paul at December 15, 2009 3:07 AM ET:

This has been a long time coming. We are on our own and the sooner we realize that the sooner we wipe out AQ & T. The paks are only going to go so far so we should just say OK we'll spend that 1.5B a year on drones and covert spies and take out who we need to take out ourselves. They are not going to help us. Why don't we realize that the ISI is the T in drag. The pak govt is too feeble to defend themselves. They will use any excuse to avoid taking on these ragtags. We should just do it ourselves. Enough BS already. This job should have been done 8 years ago!

Posted by James at December 15, 2009 5:23 AM ET:

The time has come for the US to take unilateral military action in Pakistan. Pakistani government decisions leave the US with no acceptable way of defeating al-Qaeda and beating back the Taliban in Afghanistan. Not only according to the Pakistanis must the US not enter Pakistan to take care of the problem, the Paks won't do it either. Their policy is designed to make the US Afghan mission fail. For 8 years now, the Pakistanis have failed to neuter the Afghan-focused Taliban and al-Qaeda leadership in their own borders, there is no reason to believe they will anytime soon. If the Paks turn on the US after such unilateral military action, drop their ally status, switch support over to India, withdraw from Afghanistan, and contain Pakistan the best you can. It is not responsible to send 18, 19 year old kids overseas to die needlessly because you are afraid of offending the Pakistanis.

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at December 15, 2009 6:28 AM ET:

The American leaders, the military ones in particular, have miscalculated how much leverage they have over Pakistan's military leadership.

From a policy framework, Pakistan has already become a talibanized state.

All of this requires a complete rethink. People who matter need to go back to the drawing board and start to revisit certain assumptions that are behind our present policy in the war on terror. A good place to start is Islam and its influence.

http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/14/the-yemeni-koran-by-jamie-glazov/

Posted by Cannoneer No. 4 at December 15, 2009 6:53 AM ET:

An estimated 70 percent of the supplies for NATO pass though Pakistan.

This is why OEF was "underresourced."

Nobody took their eyes off the ball in Afghanistan, they just decided early on that OEF could not be the main event in the GWOT. OEF would have to be an Economy of Force mission. A Land War in Central Asia 600 miles inland is logistically unsupportable the moment the Line Of Communications is cut by blackmailing Pakis, Russians, Kirgiz, Uzbeks, or whoever else stands athwart whatever LOC we try to use.

Saddam's misfortune was that we could logistically support a Land War in South West Asia.


Posted by eric at December 15, 2009 8:27 AM ET:

Well, Haqqani network is the only hope for Pakistan Govt to keep up disruping the peace process in Afghanistan., it is for sure that Pakistani taliban can not fight in Afghanistan.I dont understand why Pakistyan is still being asked to help despite we all know that Pakistan Govt is nothing wit out being associated with extremist and terrorist.

Posted by T Ruth at December 15, 2009 9:09 AM ET:

Pakistan needs to decide,

EITHER
It stays in bed with HAQ/AQ

OR
It keeps its nukes.

It can't be allowed to have both. The combination is not acceptable to the civilized world. Its THAT SIMPLE!

Pakistan has been gaming the system for way too long!

Posted by AJM at December 15, 2009 9:29 AM ET:

Channel 4 News in South Waziristan:
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=57124784001

'First western journalsits in South Waziristan'. They get a guided tour of the Mehsuds (H and B) home towns and even see their destroyed houses.

Posted by Raj Kumar at December 15, 2009 10:04 AM ET:

People,

If we allow the Government of Pakistan (GoP) to dictate our military policies then this war is as good as lost right now and we should pack our bags and come back home.

I say target the Haqquni network both overtly & covertly and see what GoP can do. I am willing to bet that the Generals in charge care more for our $/£ than they do for the Haqquni network.

Raj

Posted by Raven at December 15, 2009 10:49 AM ET:

All Pakistan is saying is that Haqquani network is one of the power centers, among other centers such as regular Army, ISI, irregular Army/Good Taliban and Civilian government in that order of reducing influence. Haqqani network is third in this list and that's where they draw the line. They will let go civilian government before they let go Haqqani's... Given this, the question to us is, what are we going to do about it?

Posted by Ayamo at December 15, 2009 10:54 AM ET:

I think that that's the problem with BHO's exact announcment of when the troops are leaving.

The Pakistani will wait. The Haqqanis are a major playor and why should the Pakistani government bother to take them on when there won't be any pressure from NATO anymore after 2011?

Posted by David M at December 15, 2009 10:55 AM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/15/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Posted by Charley at December 15, 2009 1:09 PM ET:

We are becoming a soft state. Hundreds of our troops are being killed due to this shameful hand wringing by our administration. More will die, unless we take stern action against Pakistan based terrorists. The talk about "tribal areas" is baloney. The real culprits are in Pakistan proper, and we need to bomb them. Now!!

The moment our President and military leaders talk about "tribal areas," I hear convenience. Why not drop a few bombs into the ocean then?

Isn't 8 years of namby pamby enough?

Posted by Armchair Warlord at December 15, 2009 1:48 PM ET:

Yes, because starting a war with a state of 120 million people that possesses nuclear weapons should be done lightly.

Invading Pakistan should be thought of as an absolute last resort - because of the sheer scale of the operation we'd have to get India on board and I doubt the Pakistani public would be happy to see American and Indian soldiers on their streets unless the only alternative was living under Taliban sharia law. Even then we would have a very serious fight on our hands.

Posted by Bungo at December 15, 2009 2:38 PM ET:

Many good points here with lots of validity but a little too much passion. You have to, first, acknowledge that this war, as far as the Obama administration is concerned, is purely a domestic, political calculation. The polls tell him that this Mini-Surge is the way to go. They couldn't care less about anything as definite as "winning" or "losing" much less anything as altruistic as defeating radical Islam or al Queda. Their play is to "pacify" Afghanistan enough over the next few years to be able to begin a force draw-down prior to the next election. That's it, plain and simple.

Obama will be a one term president and Pakistan and what remains of al Queda will be the next president's problem. Obama has NO intention of broadening the war to Pakistan except for some degree of ramped up drone missile program.

The only real, possible game changer in this, of course, would be a massive international al Queda terror strike in the West that could be substantially traced back to Pakistan or if the Taliban take control of the whole country of Pakistan and their nukes. If either of those events occur then, of course, all bets are off and Pakistan gets whats coming to it.

It's gonna be a Long, Looonnnng War.

Posted by ArneFufkin at December 15, 2009 3:59 PM ET:

Charley, I understand your sentiment but the realities of COIN dictate that unilateral and massive airstrikes - especially within a sovereign state and putative ally such as Pakistan - are a 20th Century anachronism. We were able to largely prevail in Iraq despite meddling from Syria and the scheming of Iranian Quds trained Special Groups and we're going to have to craft a similar strategy in Afghanistan. It's just the way it is.

Posted by Render at December 15, 2009 7:16 PM ET:

What Cannoneer #4 said.

"An estimated 70 percent of the supplies for NATO pass though Pakistan.

This is why OEF was "underresourced."

Nobody took their eyes off the ball in Afghanistan, they just decided early on that OEF could not be the main event in the GWOT. OEF would have to be an Economy of Force mission. A Land War in Central Asia 600 miles inland is logistically unsupportable the moment the Line Of Communications is cut by blackmailing Pakis, Russians, Kirgiz, Uzbeks, or whoever else stands athwart whatever LOC we try to use.

Saddam's misfortune was that we could logistically support a Land War in South West Asia."

===

WORD,
R

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at December 15, 2009 10:49 PM ET:

From today's Washington Post

"[Petraeus] accepted what one U.S. official called Kiyani's explanation of "the limits of their [Pakistani] forces in terms of capacity."

Pakistanis are continuing to outsmart our top military officials (and our President). Eight years of history is not much to be proud of.

Got an offer Gen. Petraeus and Adm. McMullen can't refuse. Ready to give some coaching to deal with Paks, with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work!

Posted by Minnor at December 15, 2009 11:17 PM ET:

You will have to wait for summer for N.Waziristan. Many people ask things that are politically not viable. A full search op in Orakzai and Kurram is on the menu for this winter.

And very unfair to call S.Waziristan as failure because leaders are at large, which i see in many places including BBC, tell me has USA failed in afghanistan just because top Taliban/AQ leadership is not killed?

Posted by bard207 at December 16, 2009 10:02 AM ET:

Minnor,

There are a few things that I would like to point out when comparing & contrasting the U.S. military and the Pakistani military.


1. The U.S. military would likely welcome the opportunity to pursue and target top Taliban/AQ Leadership in Pakistan, but Pakistan apparently is reluctant to grant the freedom needed.


2. The Pakistani military has the complete freedom to tackle insurgents in their country with much less Restrictive Rules of Engagement compared to what the U.S. military has to work through in Afghanistan.


3. The Pakistani military was reluctant to tackle the insurgents and had to be prodded and poked into action by the U.S.


4. The U.S. military is operating roughly 1/2 a world away from home in a foreign country while Pakistan is operating within its own Sovereign Borders. I have read so much about Pakistanis being upset about Drones violating their sovereignty, yet there isn't nearly as much anguish about the Taliban/AQ taking away the sovereignty of Pakistan in FATA, NWFP and other areas of Pakistan. For the territorial integrity - sovereignty position to be given credence, Pakistanis would need to be as incensed about the Taliban/AQ as they are about Drones. It is quite evident that hasn't happened. Yet, Pakistanis are puzzled why the U.S. and its citizens are upset with Pakistan?

Posted by AMac at December 16, 2009 12:57 PM ET:

Cannoneer #4 emphasized, "An estimated 70% of the supplies for NATO pass though Pakistan."

What would logistical support of US & NATO forces and the Afghan government look like if Pakistan withdrew its support? Assume three actions only:

1) Pakistan no longer allows fuel and ammunition shipments to Afghanistan overland from ports like Karachi (e.g. via Peshawar and the Khyber Pass).

2) Pakistan no longer allows US/NATO transport and war planes to overfly its territory.

3) Pakistan withdraws permission for "gray" US logistical operations at Pak military bases to continue.

The 'Stans to the north are unsteady, subject to their own internal politics, and to Russian pressure. Putin has staged a few mini-crises to remind the US that our presence is at Russia's sufferance. And it's the long way round, compared to the Pakistani approach.

If we lose the grudging and insincere "support" of Pakistan's government and military, Afghan operations go from very expensive/very difficult to super expensive/super difficult.

Step One, rail at Pakistan's intransigence and duplicity. Okay. Next, Step Two: what's our plan?

Posted by Turner at December 16, 2009 1:03 PM ET:

While the Pakistani government reaps the benefits of nearly $1.5 billion in US aid per year, the US is "reliant on Pakistan for our logistics into Afghanistan."


And that's the keystone. Islamic radicals have a strong allegiance to the Islamic concept of "Jizrah": Letting people of other religions coexist as long as a financial tax of some kind is excised for leaving them unmolested. The belief is that this furthers the long term dominance of the faith while fueling broader future jihad.


No doubt the vessle that contains the 1.5 billion is very leaky and US funds may be benefiting a wide range of interests in the area. At a bare minimum it holds Pakistan up in a society too fraught with fear to prosper on it's own.


The demand that action be taken against Haqqani, tips the equation the other way, as such a loss could not be balanced by any funds siphoned off of the outsiders.

Posted by mike at December 16, 2009 1:46 PM ET:

A-Mac:

I think offering 1.5 billion in publically-known aid ( and even more under the table which Im sure we are not told about) to one or more of the 'Stans would get them to pay attention really quickly and allow all sorts of access.

We are playing for time in AfPak, and actually i almost think its working where the Taliban/AQ are ultimately going to tick off the public (much like Zarquari did when he bombed the hotel in Jordan) with their increasing targeting of civilians in Pakistan and the US reluctance to drop bombs...

I feel the US is actually acting like an imperial power tending to its far-flung kingdom, where we will continue to accept small-scale casualties in exchange for relative stability in an instable region.

Posted by Bungo at December 16, 2009 2:28 PM ET:

Amac said : "Step One, rail at Pakistan's intransigence and duplicity. Okay. Next, Step Two: what's our plan?"

The plan is pretty much "one country at a time". The previous administration "liberated" Iraq. This administration will "stabilize" Afghanistan and the next administration will "pacify" Pakistan (or Iran, whichever boils over first). We won't over-extend our capabilities again unless we're forced to. You're just going to have to be patient. Remember, it's the Pak's who are getting blown up on a weekly basis NOT us. You also have to keep in mind that 99.9% of the American people don't know a thing about the Pakistan duplicity. Our press says NOTHING about that. They only report the latest terror bombing or political corruption scandal in Pakistan. We Americans hear 1000% more about the Iranian Nuclear threat than the Pakistan Taliban duplicity. For that reason the Obama administration can afford to ignore the whole Pak thing and focus on Afghanistan only, as silly as that seems to us who know better.

It's gonna be a LONG, LOOONNNNG war.

Posted by Cannoneer No. 4 at December 16, 2009 4:13 PM ET:

AMac, if/when Pakis shut us down we're at the mercy of the Russians and their Kirgiz and Uzbek buddies.

The Paks can't cut ISAF's CL III without crimping the Afghan civilian fuel supply, which is big business for Pakistani refiners and trucking companies, as well as a major source of mordida for the various trolls along the route. They can create shortages and jack up prices, which we'll just have to pay while the locals park the Toyotas and saddle up their camels.

Class V doesn't come in over the road much. With the ROE as restrictive as they, ammo is the least of our supply problems.

If the Pakis deny overlight, Diego Garcia, Al Udeid, and Ali al Salem are pretty much out of the intratheater airlift business. No more B-1's, no more F/A-18's. All our eggs go in Manas' basket, at Putin's sufferance.

Posted by AMac at December 16, 2009 11:33 PM ET:

Cannoneer No. 4,

Yep. As seen from a number of Pakistani viewpoints, the status quo probably isn't that bad; in fact with the dough coming in, it may strike a lot of actors as pretty darn good.

As long as we don't get fed up, decide this Great Game isn't worth the price, and go home.

And as long as we don't win an unambiguous victory and start moving all that spending over to the next set of problems, somewhere else.

Meanwhile, per usual, everybody gets to chant "Yankee go home!" Fun all around.

Posted by Minnor at December 16, 2009 11:56 PM ET:

@bard207, We should keep in mind the political ramification of military op's. Pakistan govt is hardly as stable as US, you never know if there is a coup tomorrow.
I missed to include Bajaur search op for the winter, other than Kurram and Orakzai. And basic development works such as roads in tribal areas.

Posted by kp at December 17, 2009 1:44 AM ET:

Another point in all of this I think was the USAF recently "revealing" the RQ-170 -- the first stealth UAV currently in at least test service in AfPak. The current UAVs can be seen in Pak air defense radar and intercepted by fighters (another reason not to fail to get the Paks persmission for strikes). But this I suspect one can't. It's painted for daylight use. High over a city like Quetta it would not be noticed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RQ-170_Sentinel
http://www.makli.com/rq-170-sentinel-pictures-0016246/

I think limited strikes unilateral in Quetta and Balochistan (especially for HVTs) are a possibility with public denial along with private post-strike comments to the Pak govt along the line of "we told you they were there and you did nothing". I'm sure this is implied in current talks. Perhaps with some quid pro quo on targeting some AQAM that Pakistan wants out of the picture.

A lot of the posturing is to maximize ends on all sides. For example, the Stans to the North really don't want a live active insurgency inside their borders which they will have if they US backs out of Afghanistan. But they don't want to annoy Russia either.

Posted by wazir at December 17, 2009 3:04 AM ET:

@bard207 hi ther US is not alone all europe and many other countries nato helping us ther . Pakistan army dont have the weapons you have the world best weapons and you are not away from home just in the sea you have ships in persian gulf permanent bases in Pakistan since 2001 . Pakistan army just like urz entered first time into fata since the creation of Pakistan because FATA specially Waziristan was never ruled by British .It remained an independent area also after creation of Pakistan so it was new to Pakistan as well. What US achieved in Afghanistan in 8 years ?????? Only the insurgency is increased ther was nothing in north west was not every heard in news now there are problems there as well so what US achieved in 8 years ?????? Can you answer that???? Where is the reconstruction???? Where is the security??? not even kabul is secure now so if you with nato and many other countries cant do it why you expecting much from Pakistan ????? Pakistan comes in worlds poorest
countries , Ur soldiers drive Humvee and Paki troops drive Toyota helix with back opened can be destroyed by a single bulet if you hit the fuel area

Posted by bard207 at December 17, 2009 2:27 PM ET:

Minnor and Wazir,

Until Pakistan gets its act together, it is going to be nearly impossible to solve the problems in Afghanistan. Based on the course of events in Pakistan over the years, Pakistan is more likely to disintegrate rather than get its act together. Not a good thing for efforts to improve Afghanistan, but it is also gloomy for the citizens of Pakistan.

Many of the European countries have restricted Rules of Engagement that precludes them from being of much significant use in Afghanistan.

Why do people from Pakistan keep comparing the efforts of Europeans, Australians, the U.S. and other foreign countries in Afghanistan to what the Pakistani military is doing inside Pakistan? Germany, France, Canada, Britain, the U.S., Australia etc would show a high degree of concern and policing - military activity inside each of their countries if things were as out of control as they are in Pakistan.

Why doesn't the Pakistani military take any pride in protecting their citizens inside their own borders?

Yes, I know that the FATA, NWFP and Balochistan are behind on development compared to other areas of Pakistan.

I also know that Pakistan uses trucks to transport some of its troops.

Then why is Pakistan buying J-10 jets from Pakistan? Why is Pakistan still doing work on increasing the range of missiles? Why is Pakistan buying airborne refuellers?

ICBM: Pakistan intercontinental missile underway (Aug 13, 2009).

Roads and other infrastructure need to be improved in FATA, NWFP and Balochistan along with increased spending in the educational system Divert some of the funds being spent on top line aircraft, missiles, nuclear weapons research and other Exotic Toys for the Pakistani military.

I know that Pakistan still thinks of India as Enemy #1, but the Taliban have easily killed more Pakistanis and taken away control of more Pakistani land than India has in recent decades.

Posted by Zeissa at December 17, 2009 3:31 PM ET:

Excellent display of misconceptions Wazir.

The US is completely different from Pakistan, as a Chinese citizen I've studied that and see it clearly.

The US would have won efficiently by now if it wasn't for Pakistan's treachery, there's your answer.

As for your comprehension of logistics and allied support I won't even try to educate you on it.

Posted by Minnor at December 18, 2009 12:49 AM ET:

My point is that the Pak army just suffered 75 casualties in S.Waziristan op and it needs a break from casualties. Soldier's life doesn't come cheap right? If they press too much, go here go there go everywhere, army/kins-of-soldiers will revolt.

Posted by bard207 at December 18, 2009 9:18 AM ET:

Minnor,

Approximately 150 years ago, the United States had the American Civil War (1861 - 1865).

Estimates vary some on the death toll, but over 600,00 (military) is a fairly mainstream number.

The 1860 Census has the population between 31 million and 32 million.

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 - an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census.

That means that almost 2% of the population was killed over the next several years in military battles.

The 75 casualties that you mentioned might be a large number to you, but there were battles in the American Civil War with casualties in the thousands

I have seen varying estimates for the current population of Pakistan at 160 to 175 million. For the moment we will use the low number of 160 million and almost 2% of that would be 3 million dead.

I don't know what the total death toll is for Pakistan since Fall 2001 in the fight with the Islamic militants, but I doubt that it has reached 300,000 (Islamic militants included) yet.

If you have a good link with the total death toll in Pakistan since Fall 2001 (versus the Islamic militants), please present it so we can compare and contrast the ratios of what Pakistan is going through versus what the U.S. went through in its own Civil War approximately 150 years ago.

Posted by T Ruth at December 18, 2009 2:03 PM ET:

bard, you make some excellent points.

Lets compare applea with apples, mangos with mangos and lemons with lemons.

And about those exotic toys, makes one really think what is the real cost of Pakistan's denial. Delusions don't come cheap!, do they?

Posted by wazir at December 18, 2009 6:04 PM ET:

@ zeissa well Mr i am not comparing us with pak , i said if u can read that usa is very powerful then Pak . And bard207 Fata is An independent area long before creation of Pakistan was not even under Afghanistan .The first Pakistani soldier to enter Waziristan was back in 2004.So its kinda fighting in another country too that what i want to say .

Posted by bard207 at December 18, 2009 6:30 PM ET:

wazir,

The first Pakistani soldier to enter Waziristan was back in 2004.So its kinda fighting in another country too that what i want to say .


I understand what you are saying, but that definition severely weakens one of the complaints put forth by Pakistanis in regards to Drone attacks and similar U.S. activity in the border areas.

If it is like another country (as you just said above) for the Pakistani military, then the idea of sovereignty violations by the U.S. drones is nonsense because Pakistan hasn't treated the Border areas as part of their country since the creation of Pakistan (post WW II).

Posted by Minnor at December 19, 2009 1:10 AM ET:

Compared to just 10 years ago, mass media has changed from being one way to two way, and you can hardly compare with 19th century when there were no international conventions.
Pak military lacked anti-insurgency tactics till 2008, and it started in Bajaur. With Swat op, actual headquarters seemed Lower Dir that is adjacent to Bajaur.

And now S.Waziristan is cleared. N.Waziristan maybe adjacent, but tribe and command there all are different. Rather Orakzai and lower Kurram is under Mehsud command, to clear there is essential to finish them off. To settle the displaced and consolidation are important, there is no point in hurrying.

Posted by wazir at December 19, 2009 4:48 AM ET:

bard207 that is why us is bombing that area fata only . If it goes to another parts i mean the bombing then it means a war with Pakistan . Come inside the fata i dont know why they are bothered by us getting inside that area.

Posted by Asad Khan at December 19, 2009 6:56 AM ET:

Well I am a Pakistani citizen & after reading your comments I feel obliged to put forward my view on this matter.

Ever since Pakistani military has launched an offensive against taliban in S.Waziristan, Pakistan has witnessed an enormous surge in the number of suicide bombings & other terrorist acts. These terrorists who ever they are have targeted not only military infrastructure but have also bombed markets, hotels & even mosques and are responsible for killing hundreds of civilians...

I believe being an ally of US Pakistan should honor their commitment but you people should also understand that there are strings attached to it.
I don't know if Pakistani military is capable of launching another offensive in N.Waziristan or not but I do know one thing that we the people of Pakistan are not capable to withstand another surge in terrorist violence because of opening another war front.

I personally think that we should go slow & steady and Pakistani military & political leadership should maintain a level of understanding between itself & US. Blatantly denying such requests by Pakistan is not in anyones interest.

Posted by Bungo at December 19, 2009 10:33 AM ET:

Asad : I'm not really sure what you're saying. You're comments are all over the place. Are you with the TaliQueda or against the TaliQueda? Should the Pak military go after the TaliQueda or let them do whatever they want in these so-called "un-governable tribal areas"? "Sitting on the fence" (among other policys) is what got Pakistan in the situation it's in. It's time for good Pakistani citizens like yourself to jump on in for the big win and help the world and the Islamic Religion rid itself of this cancer.

Posted by Render at December 19, 2009 4:58 PM ET:

Asad Khan has already stated which side he's on...on another blog. Those words (quoted below) were then quoted back to him on his own blog.

http://aikhan.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/developing-iphone-applications-on-linux/#comment-15

"The next thing they will say that there are weapons of mass destruction in Quetta.

The only thing I know that there are no Talibans in Quetta but there will be thousands once CIA operated drones starts killing innocent people."

===

Those are Asad's words. "...no Talibans in Quetta..."

NOTED,
R

Posted by bard207 at December 21, 2009 1:59 PM ET:

Minnor

Compared to just 10 years ago, mass media has
changed from being one way to two way, and you can hardly compare with 19th century when there were no international conventions.

the Iran - Iraq War was less than three decades ago and the death toll figures vary with a low number near 500,000 and a high number of 1,000,000. There is currently much violence in Africa that makes the 75 casualties in S.Waziristan op look like a minor skirmish.

Passion - desire for the War on Terror likely has some influence on how many casualties are acceptable.

Here is a hypothetical question for Pakistanis to answer when complaining about the recent casualties in their country.

There is another war between Pakistan and India. Based on the 75 casualties in S.Waziristan op lament above, Pakistan would surrender to India if it suffered 75 casualties?

-----------------------------------------------------------

Pak military lacked anti-insurgency tactics till 2008,
and it started in Bajaur. With Swat op, actual headquarters seemed Lower Dir that is adjacent to Bajaur.

Pakistan had a few embedded advisors with the Taliban in Fall 2001, yet never bothered to learn - wargame against Taliban tactics - mindset?
The Pakistani Army missed a golden opportunity if they didn't.

----------------------------------------------------------

wazir

bard207 that is why us is bombing that area fata only . If it goes to another parts i mean the bombing then it means a war with Pakistan . Come inside the fata i dont know why they are bothered by us getting inside that area.

I have read on many web sites dominated by Pakistanis about the U.S. violating Pakistan's territorial integrity under the current drone operating areas.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Asad Khan

I am interested in reading the rebuttal that you are currently working on.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Render,

Thank you for the background and link.

Posted by Bing at December 22, 2009 2:04 AM ET:

Bard,

Your point about causalities dose not make sense to me in this debate. We are not willing to endure the level of causalities we did in Vietnam to win this war, so why should we assume a country like Pakistan which already has divided loyalties with the Taliban would do our bidding and sustain more causalities?

You can't equate body counts across wars or even over time. It's not an apples to apples comparison. And since we're leaving in 2011, they'll have to make peace with factions of the Taliban anyways.

Posted by bard207 at December 22, 2009 11:58 AM ET:

Bing,

Your point about causalities dose not make sense to
me in this debate. We are not willing to endure the level of causalities we did in Vietnam to win this war, so why should we assume a country like Pakistan which already has divided loyalties with the Taliban would do our bidding and sustain more causalities?


Perhaps because the future of their country is at stake?

The U.S. was deeply divided in the American Civil War (approximately 150 years ago).

I know that it is common thought by many in Pakistan that Strategic Depth is attainable in Afghanistan via the Taliban, but that is based on the premise that the Pakistani Taliban and similar Islamic militants in the Punjab can be pacified and not yearn to topple any Pakistani government with a Western Face.

That is a gamble - risk that Pakistanis appear willing to take.

There is a question I would like for you to answer.
Why is Taliban type rule - culture acceptable to Punjabi Pakistanis in Afghanistan, FATA and NWFP, but not in the Punjab?

Posted by T Ruth at December 22, 2009 2:38 PM ET:

Bing,

Might i add to bard's response
"Perhaps because the future of their country is at stake?"....and along with that the future of the Islamic Bomb...

And if you don't want Pakistan to do your bidding for you versus HAQ and the Quetta Shura and AQ, why on earth are you chucking billions of dollars plus all kinds of state-of-the-art military equipment at them??? Its not love for a 60-yr old ally is it?

On casualties, i read that 58 US personnel were killed this Oct in Afghanistan--is that a more apples-to-apples comparison for you?

Btw Obama has said that he would begin "transferring" troops in 2011. Only he knows where he's transferring them to....Iran, Pakistan, back home...?? (At any rate, depending upon conditions on the ground at that time.)

What i do know is that when he made his announcement, he was hoping to, but clearly had not yet, struck a deal with Pakistan and still has not. That is what this story is about.

So if you don't expect Pak to go after those inter-national criminals AQ/HAQ and the Quetta Shura, why wait till 2011, why not get out now and let them all make their peace?

Posted by Bing at December 23, 2009 12:28 AM ET:

Bard,

"Perhaps because the future of their country is at stake?"

You're again missing the point here. The security of the US is at stake here, one that we're clearly unwilling to protect by suffering WWII era, let alone Vietnam era casualties.

And from all that we have heard and read about Pakistan, they may welcome some type of taliban rule and which in fact may be a a step up from their current corrupt and duplicitous class of leaders!

I think this "strategic depth" angle is overplayed. I'm unsure of what it even means. Does Pakistan really need more people to fight it's war with India? I think they have enough of a jihadist inclined population themselves.

"Why is Taliban type rule - culture acceptable to Punjabi Pakistanis in Afghanistan, FATA and NWFP, but not in the Punjab?"

Who is to say that it is not acceptable in the Punjab? In fact they may be headed that way right now. It could just be the traditional slow change that is so common to the South Asian culture.

Posted by Bing at December 23, 2009 12:34 AM ET:

T Ruth,

"And if you don't want Pakistan to do your bidding for you versus HAQ and the Quetta Shura and AQ, why on earth are you chucking billions of dollars plus all kinds of state-of-the-art military equipment at them??? Its not love for a 60-yr old ally is it?"

You just answered my question. We are unwilling to absorb the causalities ourselves and have thus contracted out the war to Pakistan, for better or for worse. They'll do what every contractor does or tries to do - do the least amount of work for the most amount of money.

Why are we shocked over the outcome?

Posted by bard207 at December 23, 2009 1:37 PM ET:

Bing,

Now I understand your angle - thoughts.

------------------------------------------------------
You're again missing the point here. The security of the US is at stake here, one that we're clearly unwilling to protect by suffering WWII era, let alone Vietnam era casualties.

If Pakistan had been a positive - helpful partner, then a complete mopup of Islamic militants would have been more likely. With Pakistan having nuclear weapons, a population of approximately 170 million and a less than cheery attitude about displacing - removing the Islamic militants; the limited campaign was chosen.

Wargaming a scenario of 10 U.S. divisions and the accompanying supply chain being in action in Afghanistan and Pakistan is very nasty.

Since earlier provocations like the Embassy Bombings in Africa in the 90's had elicited a limited U.S. response, the precedent had already been set for a controlled response.

----------------------------------------------------------


I think this "strategic depth" angle is
overplayed. I'm unsure of what it even means. Does Pakistan really need more people to fight it's war with India? I think they have enough of a jihadist inclined population themselves.

Pakistan strongly prefers to have a Puppet - Client state on its Western Border and is quite paranoid about India. Getting troops - fighters from the Client state is likely a minor desire at the most. How the citizens of the Client state are treated doesn't appear to be a concern of Pakistan.
-----------------------------------------------------------

And from all that we have heard and read about
Pakistan, they may welcome some type of taliban rule and which in fact may be a a step up from their current corrupt and duplicitous class of leaders!

Who is to say that it is not acceptable in the
Punjab? In fact they may be headed that way right now. It could just be the traditional slow change that is so common to the South Asian culture.

Previous Commenters with a leaning towards Pakistan have voiced the thoughts - opinions that Taliban type rule - culture wouldn't be acceptable in the Punjab. Also, it is mentioned on web sites that are Pakistani dominated.

I never understood the Logic behind that reasoning because the people living in FATA, NWFP and Afghanistan are predominately Muslim and thus part of the Ummah. If the majority of the people in those areas were Kufirs (Hindus, Jews, Christians etc), then the indifference would be more expected.

Though I am not an expert on the topic, it would seem that Muslims would want equality (as much as possible) with their fellow members of the Ummah. Indifference to aiding - freeing those under Taliban rule - culture while being opposed to living that life for oneself is a Logic gap that I am unable to understand.

Granted, there is the drift to the Religious Right in Pakistan (even the Punjab), but I am not convinced that it will go completely to the Taliban level. Time may prove me wrong.

Posted by Bing at December 23, 2009 6:48 PM ET:

Bard,

Your first paragraph is really what's at the crux of the matter here. We can't/won't go into Pakistan because it will turn into a nasty affair. I just don't see why there is shock or surprise that Pakistan will not do exactly what we tell them to do when they hold most of the cards.

From the rest of your post, you seem to know more about the region than I do. One thing I will reiterate is that change (for the better or worse) is very slow in the South Asian culture. Just look at how long it has taken the Indians to go after the Maoists in any aggressive manner. So if Pakistan is headed towards the Taliban or away from the Taliban, 8 years is not nearly enough time for things to be decided.

Posted by bard207 at December 23, 2009 9:31 PM ET:

Bing,

I have been skeptical of Pakistani help for a while and am well past the stage of being surprised at the lack of it.

Sometimes I do get frustrated with the air of innocence & feigned incomprehension Pakistan and its supporters try to project.

If Pakistan morphs into something more unpleasant than what it is currently is, I will not be surprised because there is something missing that constitutes the fabric of what a country should have from my POV.

Such as this..........

-----------------------------------------------------------
Baitullah Mehsud

Benazir Bhutto assassination
On 28 December 2007 the Pakistan
government claimed that it had strong evidence regarding Baitullah Mehsud as the man behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007. The Pakistani government released a transcript it asserted was from a conversation between Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Sahib (literally "Mr. Cleric"). According to the transcript Maulvi Sahib claimed credit for the attack, Baitullah Mehsud asked who carried it out, and was told, "There were Saeed, the second was Badarwala Bilal and Ikramullah was also there."
----------------------------------------------------------

...and approximately one year later.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Army official calls Baitullah Mehsud, Fazlullah 'patriots'

All main militant groups fighting in Fata, from South Waziristan to Bajaur and from Mohmand to the Khyber Agency, have contacted the government through different sources after the Mumbai bombings and have offered a ceasefire if the Pakistan Army also stops its operations.

And as a positive sign that this ceasefire offer may be accepted, the Pakistan Army has, as a first step, declared before the media some notorious militant commanders, including Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah, as "patriotic" Pakistanis.

These two militant commanders are fighting the
Army for the last four years and have invariably been accused of terrorism against Pakistan but the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage has suddenly turned terrorists into patriots.

A top security official told a group of senior journalists on Saturday: "We have no big issues with the militants in Fata. We have only some misunderstandings with Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah. These misunderstandings could be removed through dialogue."

-----------------------------------------------------------

That easy dismissal of past wrongs by Baitullah Mehsud would bother me greatly if I was a Pakistani citizen. Some things should transcend partisan politics in Pakistan and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto would be enough in most of the world, but not in Pakistan.

Posted by bard207 at December 24, 2009 2:04 AM ET:

Bing,

I am well past expecting Pakistan to do much in accordance to U.S. needs - desires.

There are times that I am perturbed with the Air of Innocence that Pakistan and its supporters try to project in various types of media and across the Internet.


If Pakistan morphs into something significantly worse than its current form I won't be surprised.

Something is missing in Pakistan in terms of the basic fabric that should bond a country together.

Here is an example...

-----------------------------------------------------------

Baitullah Mehsud and the Benazir Bhutto assassination

In an address to the nation on 2 January 2008, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said that he believed Maulana Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud were prime suspects in the assassination of Bhutto.
On 18 January 2008, The Washington Post
reported that the CIA has concluded that Mehsud was behind the Bhutto assassination. "Offering the most definitive public assessment by a U.S. intelligence official, Michael V. Hayden said Bhutto was killed by fighters allied with Mehsud, a tribal leader in northwestern Pakistan, with support from al-Qaeda's terrorist network." U.S. President George W. Bush then placed Mr. Mehsud on "a classified list of militant leaders whom the C.I.A. and American commandos were authorized to capture or kill.

------------------------------------------------------------

Roughly a year after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated...

------------------------------------------------------------

Army official calls Baitullah Mehsud, Fazlullah 'patriots'

...And as a positive sign that this ceasefire offer may be accepted, the Pakistan Army has, as a first step, declared before the media some notorious militant commanders, including Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah, as "patriotic" Pakistanis.

These two militant commanders are fighting the Army for the last four years and have invariably been accused of terrorism against Pakistan but the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage has suddenly turned terrorists into patriots.

A top security official told a group of senior journalists on Saturday: "We have no big issues with the militants in Fata. We have only some misunderstandings with Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah. These misunderstandings could be removed through dialogue."

------------------------------------------------------------

If I was a Pakistani citizen, the easy dismissal of past wrongs by Baitullah Mehsud would be very troubling to me without regard to my party affiliation.

In most countries of the world, the statement about misunderstandings with Baitullah Mehsud would be considered outrageous, but it appears to be the normal course of things in Pakistan.

Posted by Xavier at December 24, 2009 8:32 PM ET:

"You're again missing the point here. The security of the US is at stake here, one that we're clearly unwilling to protect by suffering WWII era, let alone Vietnam era casualties"

This excuse of casualties by Pak army is nonsense they are one of the biggest contributors to UN peace keeping force as long as they are paid. Nothing in particular about Pak. Any poor country usually can afford human losses while gaining monetary aid.

COmparing US and Pak casualties is not comparing apples to apples. These calculation requore considering economies of respective countries into account. Its far cheaper to replace/compensate for a hundred Pak soldiers than to replace/compensate for ten US soldiers. Its simple economics. The actual reason for Pak reluctance is somewhere else.

-----------

"I think this "strategic depth" angle is overplayed. I'm unsure of what it even means."


This strategic depth game is being played since 80s, according to Ahmed Rashid, a Lahore based journalist. Read his books and it wll be clear. If you are unsure about what it means you are missing abcs of this (GWOT in AfPak) war.

-----------

Now the question about why Taliban type culture is not acceptable in Punjab.


This is quite a bit of gymnastics on the part of Islamic world. Saudis, the progeny of Muhammad (and Islam) are folowing a version of Islam which is closer to the true version of Islam in original form. This is because all Islamic injunctions are writtem in Arabic and they are not lost either in time or in translation in SA(Saudi Arabia).

Now the version of Islam followed in SA is close to that of Taliban's. Why doesn't the Islamic world follow the SA version of Islam (which is closer to original version of Islam) and do the rest of the world a favor. Under this version of Islam most economic activity comes to a stand still (SA economy is based on oil, not internal economic activity) and these countries no longer pose a threat to the rest of the world (RoW). The entire Islamic world, if they shun their hypocrisy, can live in 7th century, we don't have a problem with that.

Of course the RoW has to find alternative to mid-east oil for this to happen.

Posted by Bing at December 24, 2009 11:07 PM ET:

We're arguing in circles now. We're paying Pakistan to do a job that we will not/cannot do. I don't care about the fabric of Pakistani society or this as yet unexplained "strategic depth" concept. Pakistan wants a client state to the west, that's how I see it. I am neither perturbed by this, or shocked over it. The Taliban was Pakistan's creation after all, so what's there to discuss really that we don't already know?

US security is what matters and we can keep discussing apples to oranges to apples casualty counts or Pakistani political hijinks till the cows come home, but it won't change a thing unless we either fully invest in this war and what it means to the future security and superpower status of the US or change tactics significantly.

I feel that by adopting this so called COIN approach we have gone way deep into the political ambiguities of the region and have forgotten the most powerful aspect of war - killing the enemy.

Over and out

Posted by T Ruth at December 25, 2009 7:32 AM ET:

Bing
You're quite persuasive in what you say. I must admit that i had not quite looked at the contractor angle and it makes sense. Also, we are accustomed to saying that Pak is unwilling/unable to fight the Taliban. We are now saying that the US is unable/unwilling to fight the Taliban in the Pak side of AfPak.

Frankly, i don't understand why the US accords this sanctity to Pakistan, other than the issue of nukes. And this issue is not going to go away, by courting this ally. It can only get larger with the risk of greater Taliban influence in, and control of, territory within Pakistan.

So strategically, Balochistan holds the key for a cost-effective unravelling of Pakistan. With the added advantage of a port, it solves much of the logistical problem.

Its past time to be sitting around in shock or surprise, playing numb and number, by what the host country of AQ does or does not do, says or does not say. Its time to create some surprises.

Posted by bard207 at December 26, 2009 1:21 AM ET:

Bing


We're arguing in circles now. We're paying Pakistan
to do a job that we will not/cannot do. I don't care about the fabric of Pakistani society or this as yet unexplained "strategic depth" concept. Pakistan wants a client state to the west, that's how I see it. I am neither perturbed by this, or shocked over it. The Taliban was Pakistan's creation after all, so what's there to discuss really that we don't already know?


From my POV, Strategic Depth and Client State are the same thing and we are quibbling over word usage. We are in agreement on Pakistan's basic - primary desires in regards to Afghanistan.

I have already mentioned that I am well past expecting much help from Pakistan. So we are also in agreement there.

--------------------------------------------------------------


US security is what matters and we can keep
discussing apples to oranges to apples casualty counts or Pakistani political hijinks till the cows come home, but it won't change a thing unless we either fully invest in this war and what it means to the future security and superpower status of the US or change tactics significantly.

I feel that by adopting this so called COIN approach we have gone way deep into the political ambiguities of the region and have forgotten the most powerful aspect of war - killing the enemy.


I would have had respect for Pakistan if they would have been openly defiant 8 years ago and said that they would continue to support the Taliban.

Then it would have been much easier to make some hard decisions at the time about things in regards to killing the enemy that you have mentioned.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Overall, we are more in agreement than you think we are.

--------------------------------------------------------------


You haven't mentioned something that is quite obvious at this point in this particular discussion.

I have read on several Pakistani BBS sites messages - directives encouraging their members to go across the Internet to as many sites as possible to present the Pakistani POV with some good PR work and discuss with doubters such as those that Comment here at the Long War Journal.

My early responses in this thread were to several people that are supporters of Pakistan that were actively Commenting in this discussion For whatever reason(s), they couldn't handle what was being discussed and have left.

If we were using foul language and/or acting immature and/or asking illogical questions, then it would have been understandable for them to have left.

We were doing none of the above and it was beyond
disappointing for them to leave this discussion.

Several Pakistanis had an opportunity to do some good PR work in this discussion thread and declined the chance. Again not surprising because it has happened in previous discussions that I have participated in here at the Long War Journal.

Posted by Bing at December 26, 2009 2:52 PM ET:

"My early responses in this thread were to several people that are supporters of Pakistan that were actively Commenting in this discussion For whatever reason(s), they couldn't handle what was being discussed and have left. "

My experience with presenting a slightly different POV here at LWJ before has been that comments are heavily moderated here.

And I still think you're somewhat missing the point by worrying about the Pak viewpoint. My whole point was that it shouldn't matter beyond intellectual curiosity if we were serious about this war.

Posted by bard207 at December 27, 2009 1:05 AM ET:

Bing,


My experience with presenting a slightly different
POV here at LWJ before has been that comments are heavily moderated here.

If someone could/would answer my questions from a Pakistani POV in a calm, rational and logical manner, I feel confident that it would be presented here.

I have been asking these thorny questions for a while because I don't think there is enough Logical Material to rationalize the activities of Pakistan. Things have to become twisted and stretched to explain decisions and actions of Pakistan.

-----------------------------------------------------------
And I still think you're somewhat missing the point by worrying about the Pak viewpoint.

I don't consider it worrying about the Pakistani viewpoint. If I was worrying, I wouldn't ask questions that Pakistanis appear to have extreme difficulty answering.

I have read a few BBS sites dominated by Pakistanis and they tend to become quite hostile whenever an Outsider points out illogical things and asks difficult questions. Rather than address the points raised by an Outsider in a calm and logical manner, the Group Think is to shout down and kick the Outsider.

When they Comment here, they no longer have the Group Think majority to shield them from addressing questions that they would rather avoid.

This part of our discussion doesn't appear to interest you nearly as much as it does me, so this is likely as far as we should go with it.

----------------------------------------------------------

My whole point was that it shouldn't matter beyond intellectual curiosity if we were serious about this war.

Back to that part of our discussion...

If the U.S. had signaled in Late 2001 - Early 2002 that it was going into Afghanistan and the necessary parts of Pakistan with a Heavy Footprint of military manpower, I have doubts - reservations that the al Qaeda & Taliban Leadership would have stuck around and engaged U.S. forces in major engagements.

The Taliban and al Qaeda showed only a limited appetite for heavy engagements with Northern Alliance & U.S. Special Forces (with significant airpower support). Adding in additional U.S. forces on the ground wouldn't have increased the appetite for heavy combat from the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Moving forward to a more current timeframe........

I think Ravi at Orbat has suggested a force requirement of perhaps 500,000 (minimum) to do things differently in Afghanistan and along the Pakistani border areas. Several European NATO members have difficulty supporting their current commitments and can't be expected to do more than their current levels.

OIC countries with large populations such as Bangladesh and Indonesia aren't likely to send large numbers of troops for an occupation of the troubled areas.

For various reasons, India and Russia couldn't be expected to participate.

China is eager to make business deals in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but hasn't signaled much interest in making a difference in unstable areas.

That leaves the U.S. having to make the major force commitment and 400,000 (or likely more) troops in the Subcontinent for an undetermined time period would be an impossible sell to the U.S. public.

If you are suggesting something similar to extensive Carpet Bombing, then the U.S. public doesn't have much of a stomach for its military to do that.


Was there an alternate path that you had in mind that I missed in the above?