Nov 14 2007

Major Push Against al-Qaeda In Pakistan Coming Soon

Welcome Instapundit Readers: Glenn Reynolds hopes I am right in my gut feelings on this matter. That makes two of us. – end update

My personal opinion about what is going on in Pakistan is that Musharraf is preparing for his grand finale. No, he is not attempting to grab power, he is about to take a dramatic step towards crippling the last stronghold of al-Qaeda and its leadership in the lawless tribal regions of Pakistan. My theory is Musharraf is going to do the dirty deed so Bhutto can take over once it is done. I noted a while ago how Bhutto gave Musharraf cover for calling in US forces to cleanse al-Qaeda from the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Monday that she might allow a U.S. military strike inside Pakistan to eliminate al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden if she were the country’s leader.

“I would hope that I would be able to take Osama bin Laden myself without depending on the Americans. But if I couldn’t do it, of course we are fighting this war together and (I) would seek their cooperation in eliminating him,” Bhutto said in an interview on BBC World News America.

We have noted for months the Pakistan build up of 100,000 forces surrounding the region. We have noted the on-again, off-again attempts to let the tribes in the region clear out the foreign Arab, Chechen and Uzbek terrorists. We have noted the battles that have been waged against the Taliban and these foreign fighters. It all seemed to not go anywhere, but it did demonstrate a good faith effort to avoid a full up fight and its repercussions on Pakistan itself.

As Iraq has become a no-go zone for al-Qaeda (they really pissed off the Iraqi Sunnis and are now hunted down) the only place left to regroup is in these lawless regions of Pakistan. This is not pure conjecture, it is actually being seen “on the ground”:

There are signs that more foreign fighters are joining the Taliban in Afghanistan. These foreign militants are believed responsible for the upsurge in suicide bombings — and some experts say they have strengthened the Taliban insurgency.

This area of Pakistan is right along the Afghan border and creates a good base of operations into Afghanistan. There is a lot of recent action in Afghanistan as well, which is not a coincidence in timing I would wager. We have attempted to take out al-Qaeda’s number two (Zawahiri) at least once, and maybe twice, with air strikes into the region. So we know there is more than massing forces there, it also probably hosts al-Qaeda’s top leaders.

So what do we have? Well, in addition to the martial law imposed (another good way to control the populace BEFORE an act they would not necessarily support) we have some more news on the fighting in the region. It has been intense over the last year as shown by these statistics:

More than 600 security personnel and 1300 civilians were killed in at least 28 suicide attacks after Lal Masjid operation.

The top military authorities at GHQ said this during a press briefing here on Wednesday.

It was acknowledged at the press briefing that the incidents of extremism and terrorism are on the rise after Lal Masjid operation.

The media people were also told that the security personnel were targeted for at least 192 times; there had been 39 bomb blasts and 28 suicide attacks in the country after Lal Masjid operation that was started on July 4, 2007.

These numbers swamp anything happening in Afghanistan and are not to far from the numbers we see in Iraq (which begs the question to the Surrendercrats -should we run out on Pakistan as well?). So clearly there is a lot of action in Pakistan. In recent days alone the fighting has peaked well above current levels in Iraq:

Fighting broke out in North Waziristan on Sunday after militants bombed army convoys. The military responded with air strikes and ground operations, military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.

“Forty-five security personnel have been martyred and 130 militants killed in the two days of fighting in North Waziristan,” Arshad said.

Clearly Pakistan is now a major, if not the major front in the war on terror. OK, so far this is all anecdotal (as were my predictions about the results the Surge would produce in Iraq), but now the word is being spread that there is going to be a large military action in Pakistan very soon:

Pak Army to launch major offensive in Waziristan before Eid

Sources said that the militants would now get no clemency, and they would be either crushed or flushed out of North Waziristan.

“This will happen in the next few days before Eid,” they added.

The deployment of military personnel in North Waziristan is under way and will continue until the launch of the offensive, sources said, adding that the military had sealed the Pak-Afghan border to prevent militants from crossing the porous border on the order of the Peshawar corps commander.

NATO and Afghan forces are no doubt ALSO along the border ready to take out fleeing terrorists. President Bush is no doubt ready to push with all he has in his last year in office to decapitate al-Qaeda so that even if a Surrendercrat is elected President (now highly unlikely) they will not be able to stop the decimation of al-Qaeda.

And I would not be surprised if Musharraf is doing his final last blow as well. If he does take out al-Qaeda in the tribal areas, and allows US help, while martial law is imposed, he would pave the way for Bhutto’s come back. It would not be too far fetched an idea. Musharraf would then have to go into exile someplace in the West. But if he took out al-Qaeda as his final act, then I think the world would owe him a nice golden parachute to retire with.

I get the feeling their is more going on in Pakistan than meets the eye. Maybe I am just being hopeful for a man who has survived numerous assassination attempts on his life as he stood by as our ally. He is not the thug the media is making him out to be. He has been riding herd on a powder keg of Islamic extremism. But since when has the media been right about anything recently!

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Major Push Against al-Qaeda In Pakistan Coming Soon”

  1. Mike M. says:

    If he does this, Musharraf will have earned the Gerald Ford Political Self-Sacrifice Award.

    And a Nobel Peace Prize, but he won’t collect that one.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    If for any reason the fight leans toward the side of those trying to take down the country, Musharraf may have to take the Hobson’s choice and simply declare the tribal areas as a free fire zone and do what is necessary with no regard to civilian casualties. I have even see some worst case discussions that with enough deterioration of the situation , AQ may get their nuke weapon , but not exactly the way they want it.

    Many in Pakistan have always considered the tribal areas a place of great risk to the country in any event and fully support cleaning out the area and starting all over again since just cherry picking out the terrorists will only result in a temporary success that will have to be revisited later.

  3. lurker9876 says:

    Musharraf’s army hasn’t done well against the Islam radicals so what’s the guarantee that he would succeed this time. Surely, he knows he had to ask for our help, such as dropping bombs.

    And why would he reconfine Bhutto?

  4. sanjeevn says:

    Oh yes, Musharraf is replacing Supreme Court justices with sycophants, putting lawyers into jail, putting all opposition leaders into jail, teargassing protesters and planning a soviet politburo-style election so that he can plan his grand finale!! This is the level Republicans / Conservatives have fallen … let 160 million people rot in martial law hell because we need the SOB dictator on our side. Say out loud : Freedom is on the march.

  5. the struggler says:

    these base are belong to us!

  6. the struggler says:


  7. MerlinOS2 says:


    Part of the issue is his ROE he has been using.

    Remember the area we are talking about his not flatlands here, it is some of the most mountainous difficult to approach made for an ambush terrain you would ever want to fight in. Portions of the area are already snowbound making logistics and issue.

    He has barely used air assets he has available because of the political volatility of the situation.

    A few choppers are finally being used because the cooling of the weather finally gave them enough added ceiling to be used more effectively. In the summer choppers are almost unable to reach some of the areas they are most needed to fight.

    He has fighter and bombers in his air force but they have mostly sat on the ground. Fixed wing aircraft have been limited to surveillance and airdrop resupply.

    Even in Tora Bora some of our equipment during the summer can’t reach targets they would like due to operating at their max altitude above sea level with any decent cargo/weapon loading.

  8. crosspatch says:

    “I get the feeling their is more going on in Pakistan than meets the eye. ”

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been saying for a while now. It seems like you can find press reports that will validate any conclusion you want to draw.

  9. WWS says:

    I hope you are right on this one, AJ. I have never thought highly of Musharref but all alternatives are still worse. Bhutto is hardly a democratic savior, her corruption is why she got run out of the country in the first place.

  10. cab8505 says:

    I’m right there with you AJ!

    From my vantage point I think we are watching a Pakistani Kabuki Opera. Postering, yelling, hollering….but all under a bright, white, cool light.

    Have we seen any rampaging demostrations in the interior of Pakistan? Have we seen any major deaths (expect the bombing upon Bhutto’s return)?

    I’ve seen more “authentic” performances performed by a certain NY Senator at question/answer session in Iowa!

    Where the ball drops, no one knows.

  11. Terrye says:

    I hope AJ is right here. And as far as san up there is concerned, it should be remembered that it was on Clinton’s watch that Mushareff took over the country of Pakistan and it was on Clinton’s watch that the Paks got nukes.

    And it is the Democrats who want to snuggle up with the Iranian mullahs in spite of that whole Death to America and dictatorship thing they got going over there. So spare us the uninformed hypocricy.

    As for Mushareff, he is between a rock and a hard place and here of late Bhutto has signalled that she is considering an alliance with the Islamists herself to bring down Mushareff. Talking out both sides of her mouth she is.

  12. dave m says:

    The quote about “eid” confused me so I had to go and look it
    up. I think “eid” is over, around the end of October. Nothing had
    happened by that date.

  13. Dinah Lord says:

    One thing to remember about Ms. Bhutto: the Taliban government in Afghanistan was recognized by Pakistan under her last government — making Pakistan one of only four governments in the whole world to grant them official recognition. The other three? Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Chechnya.

    Not a good sign – especially since now it appears she is making nice-nice talk about the Islamists.

    So you can see why I REALLY hope you are right, AJ.