Pakistan’s Clash With Taliban Moves Into Urban Warfare
Great piece from The New York Times’ Jane Perlez about the Pakistani army’s impending urban combat with the Taliban in the Swat Valley city of Mingora. About 10,000 civilians remain in the mostly empty city, if the government’s claims are to be considered credible, and the Taliban appear to be awaiting an army that has, in the Associated Press’ flat phrase, “limited experience battling guerrillas in urban settings.”
In the course of replying to my query about his thoughts on ending the drone strikes — and really read his whole post — Bill Roggio reminds that Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the commander of the Pakistani military, isn’t so hot on counterinsurgency. (“[E]xcept for very specialized weapons and equipment, high technology, no generalized foreign training is required.”) More broadly, the Pakistani appetite for a protracted counterinsurgency remains unproven.