Pakistanis Conflicted on Militant Battle

Army Fears Disintegration in Event of War

While the military offensive in the Buner District has not yielded much in the way of public criticism, the prospect, long advocated by the United States, of Pakistan dedicating itself to an all-out war against the assorted Taliban-style militant factions across their nation, remains opposed by many, not least of all because the war up to this point has driven upward of a million civilians from their homes.

But frustration at a problem many sees as having been driven largely by the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan and being worsened by US drone strikes and pressure on the Pakistani government to act in a way favorable to the US administration is leading many to conclude it is not Pakistan’s fight – and if it has become such, complete military commitment to the US side mightn’t be the most prudent course.

According to Bruce Riedel, the Pakistani Army also fears that if called upon to fight an all-out war against militants everywhere, they risk total disintegration. It seems to be a risk the Obama Administration is willing to take, but the Zardari Administration might be another matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.