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Pakistan Prepares To Invade Taliban/Al-Qaeda Stronghold

This is a very big deal. The Obama administration has been pressing Pakistan to expand its military successes against the Taliban in the Swat Valley for months. Now, it’s about to go down.

And look at what The New York Times credits as a major reason why:

Now there is a sense within the military establishment that the situation in South Waziristan cannot be allowed to be perpetuated. The blockade is nearly three months old, and the military, which has been conducting limited airstrikes, is running out of targets.

The Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, described Waziristan as an intelligence black hole. “We have to move in,” he said recently.

One of the major contentions of the counterinsurgency advocates within the Obama administration is that without a population-protection strategy, Afghans will have no reason to cooperate with the U.S. and, in turn, provide it with the on-the-ground intelligence tips vital for targeting high-value enemies. The counterterrorism advocates counter that the CIA is able to get precisely such intelligence over the border in Pakistan, which hosts no U.S. ground troops — and, for that matter, practically no Pakistani troops in the tribal areas that host al-Qaeda.

But now Pakistan is saying that they’re running out of intelligence in the area and need to throw ground troops into the equation. That observation, which bolsters the counterinsurgents, will doubtlessly be much debated within the Obama administration.

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