I can do counterinsurgency in one week!

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

From VOA:

Pakistan’s military has opened a new front in its offensive against Taliban militants in the country’s northwest. Troops are pursuing an estimated 500 militants in Buner district, a region just 100 kilometers from the capital.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas says security forces, backed by attack helicopters and jets have moved into Buner district. He says the operation is focused on the estimated 500 Taliban militants now camped out in the mountainous terrain.

“First and foremost is to eliminate them or to expel them out of the area,” said Abbas. “So therefore we will start from various positions and will move forward with our firepower and clear the valley of militants.”

Abbas declined to give details about the numbers of troops involved, but said planners expect the operation to last about one week.

Er … is this some kind of joke?  Is he a stand-up comic?  One week?  Seriously?  Do they not understand that they cannot accomplish this mission?  The Taliban would simply melt away, wait for the Pakistan Army to leave, and then re-enter the area and kill anyone who cooperated with the Army.  Or if they stand and fight, the history of the Pakistan Army indicates that they will simply pull back and sign a new peace deal.

No concept of clear, hold and build.  No concept of staying in the area and providing security.  No concept of intelligence driven raids, learning the population and enabling them to resist the Taliban, no concept at all of modern counterinsurgency tactics, techniques and procedures.

My God.  This is awful.  Does the Pakistan Army have any idea what they’re doing?  This statement by their Army spokesman is perhaps the most serious indicator yet that the answer to the previous question is a resounding no.  They don’t even have doctrine to support counterinsurgency in this region, much less strategy or TTP.  Will the Punjab Province be next?



  • brianh

    I don’t doubt the Pakistani Army’s ability to do this mission. I doubt their will.

  • rrk3

    Brian,
    I agree with your will comment 25% of the Pakistani army is Pastun. Who are they going to be fighting fellow tribesmen which I see as very unlikely. The scenario I see is that the army turns on their Punjab officers and takes over the army and then the government. As has been mentioned here many times I hope that the U.S. and/or the Indian military has a plan and the will to put that plan into place.

  • Pingback: The Captain’s Journal » Taliban in Swat Slip Away, Live to Fight Another Day


You are currently reading "I can do counterinsurgency in one week!", entry #2791 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Counterinsurgency,Pakistan and was published April 28th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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