Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Civil war

Grand Trunk Road links to some amazing reporting from Bajaur province in Pakistan where the Pakistan army has been engaging the Pakistan Taliban for some time.

What I found most striking was the disconnect between the clear presentation of the war, and the rhetoric that guided the reporting.

It is clearly a civil war, but it is never referred to as such. The army commander that plays a big part in the story, after losing his foot in combat, calls his opponents 'miscreants'.

It's pointed out that the Taliban didn't booby-trap occupied buildings because they lived there and wish to return, but no conclusions on the local nature of the insurgency are offered.

In all wars , but especially in civil wars, it is essential to know who you are, and who your opponent is. Pakistan's civil war seems to be going in the Taliban's favor at least in part because they know, and the 'State' does not.

I fear the State does not because it does not want to know.

It's not that different from the financial crisis and the Obama administration.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Rabia said...

"In all wars , but especially in civil wars, it is essential to know who you are, and who your opponent is. "
yeah, that's spot on. Did you watch that little speech Gen. Tariq Khan made to the troops before the battle in the 2nd part? I think that was pretty illustrative of the problem the Pakistan army has fighting Islamist militants which they basically avoid by, as you noted, referring to them as "miscreants" or a "drug mafia", etc.

3/07/2009 5:34 PM  

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