Thursday, February 18, 2010

It Feels Smarter

Over the past few days there has been increasing indications that the Pakistani government and the US government working in concert have taken some major strides in disrupting Al Qaeda/Taliban organizations in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The first big story was the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader, now today two news stories come from the region. Two shadow governors for northern Afghan provinces have been captured inside Pakistan. The comes as news of a blast in the Khyber region that reportedly killed a local militant commander (Ben has suggested this could be the start of a Abu Nidal type paranoia). With all the news coming from Pakistan it's important to note the joint Afghan-US offensive moving block by block through Marja attempting to definitively root out this Taliban stronghold.

What does it all mean? It's hard to say, but what it feels like, all these bits of information coming together, it just feels smarter. It feels coordinated. It feels like an overriding strategic goal is shared among the different arms of the US defense apparatus and that goal is being achieved through the disparate, but inter-connected efforts of the US military, the Afghan military, the CIA, and the Pakistani ISI. Progress is slow in engagements such as these, but I am encouraged that it feels smarter. Whether or not it truly is we will only know with time.


Colin said...

Saw this link via Kalsoom's twitter feed:

Jason said...

Great column. Thanks Colin. I'll just say I disagree with Bruce Riedel. It's far too soon to declare a "sea change" in US-Pakistani cooperation.

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