Monday, October 26, 2009

Operation Rah-e-Nijat

Those familiar with the western way of war - fighting until your enemy screams "God! Please! Stop!" are justifiably confused when considering other styles of warfare.

Like in Pakistan. Since 911, Pak army has dashed off several times into those magical tribal unAdministered Areas to extend Land of The Pure's writ of state once and for all.

Only a few rounds later they cut peace deals with their enemy and settle into a robust mode of doing nothing (well, aside from freaking about India all the time).

Great Satan fans hope that Operation Rah - e- Nijat (Way of Good Riddance) will finally seal the deal.

"The Pakistan of our dreams has not emerged because of the illiterate, evil terrorists like Baitullah Mehsud and we cannot let that scrooge destroy our country. We have to get rid (Nijat) of him and the likes of him.

"As the Security forces make their hold stronger in the Malakand Agency, the terrorists are aligning in the South Waziristan to get on with their nefarious designs."

"The death of hope must never be allowed to cast its shadow, and that will only be prevented if the state pools all its resources to energise the masses against terrorism."

So -- the quiz is -- will PAK Army get totally off the hook and do it to it?

Thanks to the Vulcans (v2.0), like Dr Frederick Kagan - Critical Analysis of the 1st week's battles, skirmishes, attacks and counter-attacks are up for grabs at Irantracker.

"Key Conclusions" are:

The Critical Threats team has prepared a briefing on the ongoing ground operation in Waziristan, examining the timeline of events leading to the operation, the Pakistani force breakdown, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) structure and key players, the role of other players, the details of the fight on each of the three fronts day-by-day, the potential effect on the war in Afghanistan, among other factors.

Pakistan has an effective military strategy

•Methodical – slow advance with a force that outnumbers the enemy. Difficult towns (Kotkai, Makin) are encircled through control of surrounding peaks then cleared later. Jets with precision munitions eliminate 12.7mm anti-aircraft guns after initial TTP harassment of helicopters, allowing close helicopter support.

•The Pakistani military has learned lessons from its 2004 incursion into Waziristan and 2008 Bajaur operation: they are seizing the high ground to control valleys.

•Pakistanis employing effective route clearance packages to limit damage from IEDs.

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) resistance remains somewhat strong

•Retook Kotkai and have managed to contest dominance over eastern front.

•Have managed to slow, or at least check, Pakistani advance on other fronts.

•TTP ability to coordinate spectacular attacks outside Waziristan remains intact (Islamabad Int’l University, assassination of army officer in Islamabad 10/22, 10/23 Attock, Mohmand, Peshawar attacks), although recent operations may have drained suicide bomber / attacker pool and attacks may therefore not continue at current pace and scale, given that it will take weeks to regenerate suicide bombers after the current force is depleted.

IDPs (refugees) could be a long-term problem if the Pakistanis adopt a counterinsurgency strategy

•At least 200,000 IDPs currently.

•Many have vacation homes in the NWFP to the east of Waziristan.

•Some IDPs unable to flee conflict zone, caught between government and TTP forces

•Government has set up IDP registration centers, which have been overloaded.

•Government has also sent conflicting messages on whether it is inflicting “collective punishment” (which is an accepted practice in the region) on the Mehsud tribe.

Pic "A reinforced airborne brigade should go right there"