Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The other surge

According to Syed Saleem Shahzad of the Asia Times, the AfPak war is about to significantly heat up, and it's not because of the Obama 'surge'.

What he says is new is that the Pakistan Taliban (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), the Afghan Taliban, and Al-Qaida are now going to pursue a unified strategy:
The neo-Taliban plan to spread this chaos across Pakistan, Afghanistan and India though kidnappings and attacks on high-profile people. At the same time, the Taliban's Haqqani network will carry out suicide bombing missions in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan and the Kandahari clan will try to capture towns and villages in southwestern Afghanistan. The idea is that once the enemy's regular troops are sufficiently diverted, their convoys and bases will be attacked.
He calls this new alignment the neo-Taliban. If he's right, this could be a year of decision, especially in Pakistan, and at least a much hotter war in Afghanistan. The accord that ended the long march, and kept the army on the sidelines came just in time to confront this growing menace to the state.

UPDATE: The state, such as it is. See my next post.


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