US sees positive side to delayed N Waziristan operation: NYT

Published: January 18, 2011
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Smoke rising from the mountains of Ladha, in South Waziristan, during a Pakistan Army crackdown against militants. PHOTO: ONLINE

Smoke rising from the mountains of Ladha, in South Waziristan, during a Pakistan Army crackdown against militants. PHOTO: ONLINE

Pakistan’s unwillingness to launch an operation in North Waziristan has been taken as a positive by United States intelligence and counterinsurgency officials, states a report published in the New York Times.

According to the report, senior US officials believe that insurgents bunching up in the area will make it easier for US drone strikes to hit them from afar.

Although drone strikes have successfully targeted insurgent commanders and senior leaders, US officials still believe it is important for the Pakistan Army to weed out the militants from the area.

More than a dozen intelligence and military officials interviewed by the New York Times believe that the delay will help US drones will help weaken the militants before the Pakistani army moves in for the operation. As quoted in the New York Times report:

“In some ways, it’s to our benefit to keep them bottled up, mostly in North Waziristan,” said a senior intelligence official, who like others interviewed agreed to speak candidly about the Pakistan strategy if he was not identified. “This is not intentional. That wasn’t the design to bottle them up. That’s just where they are, and they’re there for a reason. They don’t have a lot of options.”

Senior Pakistan Army commanders and politicians have stated that the army will carry out an operation in North Waziristan on their own time. Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Husain Haqqani has been quoted stating that ‘it is only a matter of how, when and in what manner’ the operations will be conducted.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Cautious
    Jan 18, 2011 - 8:50PM

    The USA is making the best of a bad situation – they know that when Pakistan finally decides determines it can extract no more bribes from the USA it will give advance warning to the Taliban which will allow them to escape while giving a great photo op demonstrating Pakistan’s military superiority.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Jan 18, 2011 - 9:17PM

    I doubt this. But, it its true then its wonderful news! Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Jan 18, 2011 - 9:34PM

    So the Army has been exposed itself – the Guardians of the Fort of Islam allow the drones to come into their land right under their noses, themselvesRecommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 10:16PM

    the operation in NW is in in favour of pakistan.Because it is the residance of good Taliban .pak army operation is only against bad talibansRecommend

  • Ben
    Jan 18, 2011 - 10:25PM

    Security analysts has been debating the issue with the conclusion that NWA operation is not in Pakistan’s interests. Now it seems that even US can take advantage of pakistan’s refusal. Read more at: link textRecommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 11:32PM

    ha ha ha. They realized that after months of demanding an operation? Where was all this ‘wisdom’ sleeping before the army showed its reluctance to get into another mess? Not that they’ve showed any spine, our economy just can’t afford any more wars. Recommend

  • Qasim
    Jan 19, 2011 - 12:55AM

    The militants aren’t “bottled in”, in North Waziristan.. Even when the Pakistani Army was conducting it’s operations in South Waziristan, the US refused to man it’s border posts along the Afghan border. They like to blame their failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan not moving into North W, implying thatl these Afghan resistance folks come from this area, attack US forces and then head back into safe havens in Pakistan.

    But alot of these attacks no US forces happen in places very far from the Pak border, quiet often even close to Afghanistan’s western borders. And even US news sources admit that the Afghan resistance folks control over 80% of Afghanistan’s landmass, with US control concentrated around major towns and airbases, so if Mullah Omar and his folks weren’t even in Pakistan early on in this war when the US was overrunning the place, why would they need to be here under daily drone attacks now?

    The US needs us to be their Cambodia for this war, just like they created all sorts of problems for neighboring Cambodia during the Vietnam war and blamed their failures there on it. They need us to be “responsible” for their failure in Afghanistan.

    North Waziristan isn’t a safe haven for these militants who blow things up around Pakistan, but families of Afghan resistance fighters and Afghan refugees have been living in that area since the 80’s war against USSR. Even though our military leadership seems fairly dubious and corrupt, it’s nice that atleast this once they stood up against US imperialism and protected Pakistan’s longterm interests, unlike the clowns currently dominating the political scene.

    Going into North Waziristan would jeapardise Pakistan’s longterm relationship with Afghanistan. We have to live with our neighbors, long after the Americans have gone back to their own continent. Recommend

  • PA
    Jan 19, 2011 - 2:26AM

    well said qasimRecommend

  • Ajay
    Jan 19, 2011 - 3:58AM

    @Qasim bhai, what is more important- a)Relationship with Afghanistan after US leaves or b)Longevity of Pakistan? If the non state actors aren’t cleared from Pakistan, then both countries future is in danger. Only US has the resources and will to push things in a certain direction, make these bad guys come to an understanding !! Pakistani military should help because it is difficult for US to go it alone. If that does not happen, US will be forced to switch to Plan B which involves use of non-visible WMD such as death rays (recently tested) and rain bearing clouds. IN addition NATO forces could come in direct conflict with Pakistan military if they decide to take matters in their own hands, invade/attack Pakistan because Pakistan is not in control of its territories and hence viewed as not having sovereignty Recommend

  • patriot
    Jan 19, 2011 - 6:37AM

    Shooting fish in a barrel strategy ! If they disperse than the choas will increase dramatically. Smart !Recommend

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