This should not come as a surprise to readers of The Long War Journal. From TIME:
But after initial promises to launch a ground offensive in South Waziristan, the Pakistanis have backed off.
A top Pakistani general, Nadeem Ahmed, recently said preparation for such an operation could take up to two months. Now, there will be no ground assault at all, according to a senior Pakistani politician known to have strong military ties; instead, the politician tells TIME, the military will try and buy off some TTP [Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] factions through peace deals.
In May, I noted that the Pakistani Army had no plan to invade North and South Waziristan. In June, I noted that the Pakistani military was seeking to cut deals with Taliban leaders in North and South Waziristan despite tough talk about taking out Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan.
None of this should come as a surprise to US officials. The Pakistanis have a long history of conducting half-hearted operations in the tribal areas, then stopping short and cutting deals instead of finishing off the Taliban. Powerful elements within Pakistan’s military and intelligence services refuse to give up on the notion that the Taliban and other terror groups serve as ‘strategic depth’ against India and as a hold card in the event the US and NATO pull out of Afghanistan. As long as known terrorists like Abdullah Aziz (of Red Mosque fame) and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed walk free and the military refuses to take the Taliban on head on in North and South Waziristan, Pakistan will remain a safe haven for al Qaeda, no matter how successful the AfPak strategy is in Afghanistan.
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