Counter-insurgency or Conventional Military in Swat?
In the Financial Times David Kilcullen, one of the architects of the changes in our Iraq strategy, is quoted on the bleak situation in Pakistan:
“The Pakistani military has really no capability for what we would call counter- insurgency,” he said. “What they are doing in the Swat valley is a conventional offensive against the main- force Taliban . . . They need a more sophisticated approach and they need training and assistance, which they are currently refusing.” Mr Kilcullen said of the Pakistani military: “They will move into Swat, they will fight the Taliban, there will be half a million refugees, there will be immense dislocation. I’m not sure that, looking back on this in six months, we will see any improvement.”
He added that Pakistan “has a long history of doing the minimum necessary” to keep western aid flowing into the country. “I hope we will see something different out of this offensive but I remain to be convinced.”
The article continues by noting that if Pakistan faces an existential challenge the political class there certainly isn’t behaving as though that’s the case.