Report: US Forces Poised to Strike Bases in Pakistan

Via the Asia Times, we learn that President Musharraf of Pakistan may have given the green light to US forces to attack Taliban bases in the Northwest Frontier Provinces where Pakistan has recently been confronting the Islamic radicals:
The ongoing three-day peace jirga (council) involving hundreds of tribal leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan is aimed at identifying and rooting out Taliban and al-Qaeda militancy on both sides of the border.

This was to be followed up with military strikes at militant bases in Pakistan, either by the Pakistani armed forces in conjunction with the United States, or even by US forces alone.

The trouble is, the bases the US had meticulously identified no longer exist. The naive, rustic but battle-hardened Taliban still want a fight, but it will be fought on the Taliban's chosen battlegrounds.

Twenty-nine bases in the tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan that were used to train militants have simply fallen off the radar.
This report makes sense in light of the supreme effort being made by Musharraff to finally confront the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies in the NWFP - especially in North and South Waziristan. If the Pakistani president has indeed committed his government to getting serious about driving the Taliban out, he is going to need American air power and probably the assistance of some US Special Forces. It's just too bad the Taliban fled the coop before we could attack.

The Taliban are now apparently ensconced further south:


A spillover of al-Qaeda's presence in Jani Khel is likely to spread to Karak, Kohat, Tank, Laki Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan in Pakistan. Kohat in NWFP is tipped to become a central city in the upcoming battle, as the office of the Pakistani Garrison commanding officer is there and all operations will be directed through this area. In addition, Kohat is directly linked with a US airfield in Khost for supplies and logistics.

A second war corridor is expected to be in the Waziristans, the Khyber Agency, the Kurram Agency, Bajaur Agency, Dir, Mohmand Agency and Chitral in Pakistan and Nanagarhar, Kunar and Nooristan in Afghanistan.

(Here is a full page map detailing the areas in question.)

It appears that the battle will be joined in the provinces where the Taliban is the strongest. It is most inhospitable country to fighting a war - mountainous, uneven terrain where even tracked vehicles will have difficulty. This is where American air power made the difference in Afghanistan in 2001 and where it can make a difference again.

Let's hope Musharraf takes advantage of it.

I've got more on Afghanistan here.


Via the Asia Times, we learn that President Musharraf of Pakistan may have given the green light to US forces to attack Taliban bases in the Northwest Frontier Provinces where Pakistan has recently been confronting the Islamic radicals:
The ongoing three-day peace jirga (council) involving hundreds of tribal leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan is aimed at identifying and rooting out Taliban and al-Qaeda militancy on both sides of the border.

This was to be followed up with military strikes at militant bases in Pakistan, either by the Pakistani armed forces in conjunction with the United States, or even by US forces alone.

The trouble is, the bases the US had meticulously identified no longer exist. The naive, rustic but battle-hardened Taliban still want a fight, but it will be fought on the Taliban's chosen battlegrounds.

Twenty-nine bases in the tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan that were used to train militants have simply fallen off the radar.
This report makes sense in light of the supreme effort being made by Musharraff to finally confront the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies in the NWFP - especially in North and South Waziristan. If the Pakistani president has indeed committed his government to getting serious about driving the Taliban out, he is going to need American air power and probably the assistance of some US Special Forces. It's just too bad the Taliban fled the coop before we could attack.

The Taliban are now apparently ensconced further south:


A spillover of al-Qaeda's presence in Jani Khel is likely to spread to Karak, Kohat, Tank, Laki Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan in Pakistan. Kohat in NWFP is tipped to become a central city in the upcoming battle, as the office of the Pakistani Garrison commanding officer is there and all operations will be directed through this area. In addition, Kohat is directly linked with a US airfield in Khost for supplies and logistics.

A second war corridor is expected to be in the Waziristans, the Khyber Agency, the Kurram Agency, Bajaur Agency, Dir, Mohmand Agency and Chitral in Pakistan and Nanagarhar, Kunar and Nooristan in Afghanistan.

(Here is a full page map detailing the areas in question.)

It appears that the battle will be joined in the provinces where the Taliban is the strongest. It is most inhospitable country to fighting a war - mountainous, uneven terrain where even tracked vehicles will have difficulty. This is where American air power made the difference in Afghanistan in 2001 and where it can make a difference again.

Let's hope Musharraf takes advantage of it.

I've got more on Afghanistan here.