Jan 06 2008

End Game In Pakistan?

Published by at 9:46 am under All General Discussions

I have two posts up already on what could be brewing in Pakistan (here and here). But reader Crosspatch has found what I call definitive evidence that al-Qaeda and the hard core Taliban are facing the end game in South Waziristan Agency in Pakistan:

A large-scale military operation is on cards in the restive tribal belt of Waziristan to stamp out the ‘local Taliban’ led by Baitullah Mehsud, who is blamed by the government for most of the recently carried out suicide blasts including one that killed the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

34-year old militant commander Baitullah Mehsud, as his name suggests, belongs to the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan, a troubled region, which is now considered to be the safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban.


“Pakistan’s top security brass believes that Mehsud is the most important militant leader in the current scenario and in order to eradicate the scourge of terror, a full-fledged military operation against him and the militants being led by him is a must,” said a senior official here on Saturday requesting anonymity.

He said that new military offensive could be launched any time soon to crush the militants in Waziristan and in this regard preparations were being carried out.

He was of the view that the resignation of Governor NWFP, Lt Gen (Retd) Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai also showed that the government had made up its mind to flush out al-Qaeda and Taliban in the rugged mountainous region with full force.

I too noted the resignation of the governor in my first post linked above as an indication the Neville Chamberlain’s were being moved out and the Winston Churchill’s would take the lead. As I noted in my second that the WH meetings on Pakistan were probably the final authorizations to use our Special Forces in country and where to use them.

Defense Secretary Gates had some interesting observations today:

The infiltration by Al-Qaeda militants into Afghanistan has come down as the “fighters” are now focussing on attacks against Pakistan government, the US said on Saturday.

“… The number of fighters coming across the border in RC-East is down about 40 per cent. Al-Qaeda right now seems to have turned its face toward Pakistan and attacks on the Pakistani government and Pakistani people,” Defence Secretary Robert Gates said here.

“…There is no question that Al-Qaeda has re-established in some of the frontier area. But so far, we haven’t seen any significant consequence of that in Afghanistan,” he said.

Noting that the Pakistani army has had some success in their counterinsurgency effort in Swat, Gates said the US has been “impressed” by new Pakistan army chief Parvez Kayani and that Washington would work closely with him.

Seems al-Qaeda is leaving Afghanistan as well. They are going for broke in Pakistan. I bet we will be working closely with the Pak forces. The Global War on Terror is probably about to take another major turn.

Update: It is clear the battle of Waziristan is going to be tough. al-Qaeda and Taliban forces retreating to the area are quite large in number, and more than likely battle hardened as well:

Pakistani commentators said the move was the forerunner to the biggest military offensive launched in North and South Waziristan, where militant leader Baitullah Mehsud has his stronghold.

North Waziristan is also where Osama bin Laden and the al-Qa’ida leadership is believed to be located, and sources said the removal of General Aurakzai was likely to signal a new offensive against the terror group.

General Aurakzai was bitterly opposed to any large-scale military onslaught against Mehsud, whom the Government holds responsible for the Bhutto assassination. The militant leader is believed to be protected by an army of at least 20,000 highly trained and heavily armed tribesmen, as well as hundreds of suicide bombers prepared to unleash a wave of terror across Pakistan if any new military operation were to be launched.

Time to take out the last of the rats.

Update: Here are the earlier news stories where Musharraf and Bhutto supported the limited use of US Special Forces in Pakistan.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “End Game In Pakistan?”

  1. AJStrata says:

    Folks, I deleted most of the post and LJStrata is working to undo my damage. The full post will be back momentarily.


  2. LJStrata says:

    It should be back now.


  3. MerlinOS2 says:


    Even if Musharaff wanted to, there was opposition from some factions to taking them head on.

    The death of Bhutto , who was giving him support for stronger action to add to the mix, has now probably lit the fuse for action and I think he can open a can of whip a$$ on them and still have more backing than if he had done it on his own earlier.

  4. kathie says:

    Now is the time for our Air Forces to show how great we are. We can help Musharraf from on high. My hunch is that Musharraf agrees, he has been waiting for the final kill.

  5. clarice says:

    Now is the time for the rats at the CIA to stop blabbing to the NYT.

  6. kathie says:

    Couldn’t agree more Clarice. Why they (NYT and DEMS) would think it is good to make it impossible politically for the US and Pakistan to work together is down right a case for treason.

  7. AJStrata says:


    Some food for thought. You leak a story saying Special Ops is coming in and then watch what moves. It is called “targeting” and is the final step before “shooting”. Plus, people are most vulnerable when on the move than when bunkered down.

  8. crosspatch says:

    That we had made an agreement for more special operations in Pakistan wasn’t new news. It was being reported last month and the commander of the US special operations command’s travels to Pakistan were widely reported too.

    What is key to me is the resignation of the governor of the area, General Aurakzai. This is the fellow that argued so forcefully for the jurgas and the other treaties with the taliban and convinced Musharraf to go that route. He has how been booted out of his office. I think the time for making deals has passed.

  9. clarice says:

    Could be, AJ. OTOH, given the past leaks against our interests, I wouldn’t bank on it being deliberate.

  10. conman says:

    AJ, this is not the first time that you have claimed that Pakistan is on the cusp of pursuing a major military offensive against Al Qaeda and wipe them out. You made the same claims in these previous posts:

    Major Attack on Al Qaeda, October 30, 2006
    Al Qaeda Amasing for Attack, February 19, 2007
    Are Al Qaeda Being Pushed from Pakistan, April 8, 2007
    Al Qaeda Under Attack in Pakistan, July 25, 2007
    Closing in on Al Qaeda Central in Pakistan, September 17, 2007
    Pakistan Pounding Terrorist Encampments in Tribal Areas, October 9, 2007
    Major Push Against Al Qaeda in Pakistan Coming Soon, November 14, 2007

    And then there is this wonderful quote from you in your post entitled Al Qaeda Amasing for Attack, February 19, 2007, that is just too good to pass up:

    “Much the news out in the last few days is saying al Qaeda is gaining strength in the Waziristan Province just on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border. This tells me one thing – al Qaeda is massing for attack. Of course, the media thinks a ragtag group of Islam Fascists in Toyota Pickups are a match for the modern militaries of the West, so they see this as a gathering threat. Me, I see it as a gathering of targets making attacks by the US or our allies highly productive in terms of taking out the Islamo Fascists. So let them gather. Maybe they can hold hands as we send them on their way to Allah.”

    Of course, your predictions never panned out, especially the last one I quoted since even you now appear to recognize the danger of Al Qaeda in Pakistan (it took you a while, but I’ll credit you for finally getting there). I’m wondering – what is it about your sense this time that is so different from your previous predictions?

  11. AJStrata says:


    Bet you my crystal ball is better than yours! Did you assume the US would lose in Iraq?

    LOL! Dude, I read the news and try and discern what is happening under the radar. By its very nature that kind of analysis is fraught with error.

    I never said I could see the future, I simply noted stories which could be a hint at the future.

    LOL! you seem to be looking at me as some kind of super human seer….

    Too funny.

  12. conman says:


    I’m not the one that thinks you are a super human seer – it is you who thinks that. Back in December when I responded to a post regarding FISA and called you out for the lack of any evidence/facts supporting your assumptions, this is how you replied:

    “Yes, I do have inside knowledge and my early predictions became facts as more and more of the story came true. I also have access to folks who with legal ties to the federal government. And the reason they keep a lid on the details is obvious (the same reason I don’t go into them). The details tell the terrorists how to avoid being detected.

    And you have what? Opinions? I don’t need a dictionary. I have been proven correct time and time again. But you go ahead and deny it all you want, no skin off my back.”

    It is nice to see that you have now come to realize you don’t know everything.

    As for Iraq, I’m still not sure if/when the US will win in Iraq. Given how many times fools like yourself have declared victory or defeat based on a trend for few months, only to have the trend reverse later, I’m not follish enough to assume I have a crystal ball and know that this latest trend will be permanent. I’m also confused now as to what constitutes “victory”. When Bush announced the surge, victory was defined as political reconciliation (after the additional troops provided the security and breathing space). The Sunni Awakening and surge have significantly improved the security situation and provided a great opportunity for political reconciliation. However, the political reconciliation has not occured yet. Nonetheless, conservatives are all declaring victory. Not only are they declaring victory, but anyone who questions if it is premature to declare the surge as having solved the Iraqi problem is shouted down as a Surrendercrat or Al Qaeda sympathizer. My definition of “victory” does not include a permanenet US troop presence at the current numbers for an indefinte period of time just so we can keep the Iraqis from killing each other. Apparently yours does, so I guess we just have different expectations as to what is an acceptable outcome for Iraq. I really hope you are right that the latest trend is the final trend and the Iraqi politicians get their act together because it will be an absolute disaster for our country if it fails.