Echoing comments made by Secretary of State Robert Gates last week, CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus has warned that Pakistan must deal with its growing militancy or face a threat to its very existence. Gen. Petraeus was hopeful that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari recognizes the danger and “can deal with it in a comprehensive manner.”
But the US and Pakistan both have very different priorities when it comes to combat in the tribal regions. US officials see the battle centering around North and South Waziristan, and the relative lack of Pakistani military action in that area has led the US toward a policy of unilateral strikes. Meanwhile, the Pakistani military has focused its efforts on Bajaur, which it sees as the source of “65 percent of the Taliban.” Pakistani officials complain that the Bajaur offensive is being prolonged by the militants and supplies pouring into Bajaur from Afghanistan.
All this had led several experts quoted by the Daily Times to conclude that the situation is only going to get worse and the two powers are on a “collision course.” As casualties in Afghanistan continue to mount, they anticipate increased pressure for the next administration to ratchet up the attacks in Pakistan even further. With Pakistan already bristling at the unilateral actions of the past month, the increased tensions have already led to one cross-border firefight between the two forces: are there more to come?
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Israeli Troops Kill Two Palestinian Teens During Protests - August 2nd, 2015
- ISIS Storms Checkpoint, Kills Seven Libyan Soldiers - July 31st, 2015
- NATO Agrees to Launch New Training Program for Iraqi Military - July 31st, 2015
- Arson Killing Puts Israel's Policy on 'Price Tag' Attacks in Spotlight - July 31st, 2015
- Turkey Offers Airbase for US to Fight ISIS, But With Limits - July 31st, 2015