Friday, November 26, 2004


According to the BBC, Pakistan is removing all their checkpoints in the tribal regions. This might make it easier for al Qaida remnants continue to hide-out or to re-enter Afghanistan. AND/OR... it might strengthen their ties to tribal chiefs who might then be willing to do more to help the Pakistan government and army get al Qaida foreign fighters. Toward this end, the government of Pakistan is also releasing some tribal prisoners.

This seems like wishful-thinking, to me. And, I think it's unwise to prosecute the GWOT with strategies based on wishful-thinking. The tribal chiefs have screwed us before; they will probably again. After all, if Allawi's treatment by many of the tribal chiefs in the Sunni Triangle is any indication, then tribal chiefs are simply not reliable allies. Which means - to me at least - that Pakistan should instead be planning their own version of "Operation Plymouth Rock" inside their own "Tribal Triangle."

OKAY, okay - some tribal chiefs have been fine: the northern tribes of Afghanistan, the Shias in southern Iraq; the Kurds in northern Iraq... but it seems to me that all of these reliable tribal chiefs ALSO have another status, in less primitive/less nativistic organizations. So, I'd recommend that we only rely only the tribal chiefs who are also leaders in other more modern, Western civic organizations. Which rules out the tribal chiefs in the lawless western regions of Pakistan. Which means the Pakistan government should be cranking UP their overt military efforts, and NOT winding them DOWN. Musharraf needs to be even braver than he has been - more like Allawi...

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