Pakistan's War on Terrorism: Strategies for Combating Jihadist Armed Groups since 9/11

Pakistan's War on Terrorism: Strategies for Combating Jihadist Armed Groups since 9/11

Pakistan's War on Terrorism: Strategies for Combating Jihadist Armed Groups since 9/11

Pakistan's War on Terrorism: Strategies for Combating Jihadist Armed Groups since 9/11


This book examines Pakistan's strategies in the war against Islamist armed groups that began late 2001, following the 9/11 attacks.

The significance of the war inside Pakistan can hardly be understated. Starting in the tribal territories adjacent to Afghanistan, Pakistan's war has come to engulf the majority of the country through a brutal campaign of suicide bombings. Thousands of Pakistani lives have been lost and the geostrategic balance of the region has been thrown into deep uncertainty.

Pakistan's War on Terrorism is an account of a decade-long war following the 9/11 attacks, that is yet to be chronicled in systematic fashion as a campaign of military manoeuvre and terrorist reprisal. It is also an analytic account of Pakistan's strategic calculus during this time, both in military and political terms, and how these factors have been filtered by Pakistan's unique strategic culture.

This text will be of great interest to students of Asian Politics, Terrorism and Political Violence, and Security Studies in general.


Aims of this book

This book focuses on the formulation and the outcomes of Pakistani state strategies towards Islamist armed groups during a decade of intensifying war on its own territory. This war began for Pakistan in its north-western tribal territories where it first confronted Islamist militants at the behest of the US, which had invaded neighbouring Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and had demanded Pakistani cooperation to end Taliban rule there and to hunt for al-Qaeda members fleeing into Pakistan. In the decade that followed Pakistan would be drenched in terrorism and insurgency that severely undermined state sovereignty as swathes of the country fell under armed group control. In response, the Pakistani military would engage in the longest lasting campaign of its history, and from the middle of the decade, the US would engage in its own strategy of using unmanned aerial drones to bomb targets located in Pakistani territory.

Of the many Islamist armed groups based in or operating out of Pakistan, those at war with the Pakistani state have varied between home-grown armed groups that were formerly sponsored by the Pakistani state, and militants that arrived in Pakistan from further afield with more international aims. They have not taken the US invasion of Afghanistan – and Pakistani state support for the US – silently. Those armed groups basing themselves in Pakistan in order to wage war in Afghanistan against foreign forces bolstering the government of Hamid Karzai would continue to do so. Some armed groups would also wage war against the Pakistani state and the Pakistani people, and most viscerally through a brutal suicide bombing campaign that has brought carnage to the tribal territories as well as Pakistan’s major urban centres. Thousands of Pakistani lives have been lost in these attacks and in the military campaigns waged by the state to reclaim territory ceded to the armed groups. Pakistan’s already precariously balanced economic and political stability would be badly shaken, and the security of the surrounding region thrown into uncertainty.

There are a number of ways to observe Pakistan’s war. This book opts for the prism of Pakistani state strategies, treating these strategies both as products and outcomes of the events gripping the country. It offers an analytic account of the ingredients of Pakistan’s strategic calculus, and how these ingredients have been . . .

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