‘Without a Strong Police Force, the Army Cannot Control the Situation’
The Pakistani Army is claiming that it has practically cleared the Taliban out of the Swat Valley. Now comes the real counterinsurgency test: holding the area. In this (sadly unembeddable) video from the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, you can see a lot of creative angles of Pakistani soldiers letting off shots. But listen to what analyst Zahid Hussein says about the test ahead:
Even if the Army clears away the whole area, quite a lot of militants have melted away in the population, and they continue to operate. There’s a need for a major effort from the government to reestablish the police and administration.
One thing is very clear. The Army can do firefighting. It cannot do policing duty. In fact, actually, there’s a need to strengthen the police force in Swat and in other places, in the Northwest Frontier Province, because the police now will be the frontline force. And without a strong police force, the Army cannot control the situation.
The Obama administration’s Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund is partially designed to bolster a Pakistani policing capability.