Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why South Waziristan Offensive Won't Help US in Afghanistan

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why South Waziristan Offensive Won't Help US in Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Pakistan's offensive into South Waziristan is targeting the terrorists who have wreaked havoc in Pakistan during recent weeks and not those attacking American troops in Afghanistan. None of the three terror groups singled out as the greatest threat to American troops - according to the commander of US forces in Afghanistan - is based in South Waziristan. This has been a notable feature of Pakistani antiterror efforts from 9/11 to today. The Army and its intelligence resources have focused their attention on terrorists seen to be a threat to the Pakistani state and done much less to curb those focusing on India or Afghanistan. After 9/11, former Preisdent Pervez Musharraf turned over several top Al Qaeda leaders but refrained from cracking down on the Taliban. Now, one element of the Taliban, known as the Tehreek-i-Taliban, has turned against Pakistan, and the Pakistan Army is focusing on their stronghold in South Waziristan. The same was true earlier this year, when the Pakistani Army routed terrorists attacking Pakistan from the Swat Valley. The Quetta Shura Taliban The greatest threat to US forces in Afghanistan comes from the faction of the Taliban still loyal to supreme leader Mullah Omar, according to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan. Virtually all reports suggest that Omar is located in the Pakistani city of Quetta. In fact, the US is so sure that Omar is there - and is so frustrated by Pakistan's unwillingness to do anything about it - that it strongly intimated it might expand drone attacks to Quetta, the Sunday Times reported last month. Pakistan responded that Quetta was off-limits to US drones. When a New York Times journalist traveled to Quetta in 2007 to report on potential links between the Pakistani Army and the Taliban, plainclothes intelligence officers broke into her hotel room, confiscated her computer, and punched her twice. In his assessment of Afghanistan, McChrystal calls the wing of the Taliban commanded by Omar the Quetta Shura Taliban, and reports that it "has been working to control [the southern Afghan] city of Kandahar and its approaches for several years and there are indications that their influence over the city and neighboring districts is significant and growing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.