[Guest post by DRJ]
This may be good news from the tribal areas on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan:
“Pakistani tribesmen are raising armies to battle al-Qaida and Taliban militants close to the Afghan border – a movement encouraged by the military and hailed as a sign its offensive there is succeeding.
The often ramshackle forces lend force to the campaign in the lawless and mountainous region, but analysts question their effectiveness against a well-armed, well-trained and increasingly brutal insurgency.
The extremists are increasingly targeting the militias, an indication they believe them to be a threat.”
Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been targeting these militias, called lashkars, with bombs and beheadings — just as insurgents did in Iraq against US troops and members of the Awakening Council.
If Gen. Petraeus’ theories work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I assume the next step will be to improve the local infrastructure to make it more likely the lashkars will align themselves with our interests.
UPDATE: Bill Roggio thinks it won’t work because the lashkars don’t have sufficient back-up from the Pakistan military, unlike the Sunnis in Iraq.