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.