Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fighting in Pakistan

According to the Pakistani Daily Mail, "thousands" of Taliban beseiged a Swat police station and, despite Army intervention, captured 30 policemen. A prolonged battle in place that results in a Taliban victory is impressive enough, but by "thousands" of Taliban soldiers? The Pakistani army may well be unsuited for anti-guerrilla warfare, given its historic preoccupation with India, but a force of thousands would present a very large target. The assertion that the Pakistani army missed a target that large requires some explanation.

In a statement that, following two years of Pakistani government efforts to regain control, provides its own serious message, the report described Swat as "
sprawling region effectively sealed off from the outside world."

Separately, the Taliban have also again closed the Afghan-Pak road through the Khyber Pass used to supply NATO forces in Afghanistan. This comes as the U.S. tries to improve ex-Soviet Central Asian cooperation to facilitate its supply route, amidst rumors that it is about to be kicked out of one base that it already has.

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