Patterico's Pontifications


The Start of a Tribal Area Awakening? (Updated)

Filed under: International,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 10:27 am

[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.


42 Responses to “The Start of a Tribal Area Awakening? (Updated)”

  1. It’s interesting how consistently the Islamic extremists foul their own nests, isn’t it?

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. True. When you come down to it, what they have to sell isn’t very appealing.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  3. I’ve found that over time A.J. Strata at has some good coverage of the issue or links to where you can find it.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  4. Of course, Obama’s brilliant strategy is to launch raids into Pakistan without trying to work with the Pakistani government.

    If you believe Obama, his raids will stir up anti-U.S. sentiment in Pakistan for very little in return.

    If you don’t believe Obama–the man is a liar, and maybe he’s just talking tough on Pakistan to disguise his weakness when it comes to Iraq–then the question is: what is Obama’s Pakistan policy? Make a few strikes into Pak just for show, and then do nothing at all? That fits with his ultra-liberal mindset.

    An “awakening” strategy in Pakistan doesn’t necessarily require a surge of U.S. troops, but it will require the U.S. to support Pak’s government and Pak’s government to support the awakening.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  5. daleyrocks,

    You’re right about A.J. Strata and his valuable insights on the war on terror.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  6. I agree. Obama lies so much more than truthy mctrutherson McCain. The man’s a saint… ask his first wife. He didn’t lie when he said ‘for better or for worse’ or ‘forsaking all others’. But, I digress, the point is that I have no doubts as far as Obama’s toughness is concerned when dealing with the actual terrorists. I just don’t think he is the ultra-nation builder that the neo-cons want.

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  7. Puss’nPestilance once again tries the hackneyed “look, over there!” defense. So tired – so predictable – so pathetic.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  8. Well, I figured that we ought to be exposed to the whole truth if we are going to charge just one of the candidates with lying. I am all about truth, folks… just look at my handle.

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  9. SHAZZAM!!!! Look at the hypocrisy tnj exposed in comment #6. Unfortunately, I think it was his own.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  10. daley… you should look up sarcasm in the dictionary. I think knowing the uses of it will help you meet some of those previously elusive ‘friend’ people that everybody is always talking about.

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  11. truthnjustice, given your illiteracy demonstrated above, the one who should use a dictionary is yourself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. So… no comments on McCain’s inability to be truthful? Okay, back to discussing Obama’s (not really but whatever) lies!

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  13. truthnjustice, don’t thread hijack like the troll you are.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. tnj – If you promise to look up hypocrisy, I will look up sarcasm. It might help you meet your averred goal here if you knew what the actual word meant.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  15. Why do you trust McCain’s ability to win a war when the U.S. didn’t really win the war in which he was involved? Would you bet on the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl as long as they were against abortion or paying lip-service to family values?

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  16. How about a banning here for thread hijacking, DRJ?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Ban dissention! Great idea. Aren’t we talking about war? I thought my post had something to do with war.

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  18. I think it helps the McCain position id the local population turns against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It makes it more acceptable and lower risk for the government of Pockeestan to work with the U.S. and against the militants and lowers the risk of havong to use Obama style unilateral invasions of Pockeestani sovreignty. P)lus, the strategy mirrors that of the surge, which the left keeps saying has not worked in Iraq and cannot work in Afghanistan. Oh Burn, that one will hurt!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  19. “I am only annoying because I point out the hypocrisy and bull-headedness that is the hallmark of all conservative debate. Your arguments are fundamentally flawed on most every issue (collective ‘you’ not you specifically, Drew ;-))

    Comment by truthnjustice — 10/11/2008 @ 8:09 pm”

    I gotta call EPIC FAIL on tnj once more.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  20. just look at my handle.

    Oh, we’ve been reading your silly bilge for awhile now – and if you actually knew the meaning of your handle, you’d be long gone by this point.

    to win a war when the U.S. didn’t really win the war in which he was involved?

    You never seem to tire of this shopworn Troll defense of always trying to change the subject, do you? Could that be…oh, I don’t know, perhaps because you don’t have anything to offer in The Messiah’s defense? either stick to the subject matter at hand, or admit that you’re really not here to do anything but scrape the bottom of your own particular barrel.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  21. The man’s a saint… ask his first wife.

    Second verse – same as the first.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  22. Of course, Obama’s brilliant strategy is to launch raids into Pakistan without trying to work with the Pakistani government.

    Comment by Daryl Herbert — 10/12/2008 @ 11:47 am

    This is a lie.

    And do you prefer George Bush’s policy of just dropping some bombs on them to win over the hearts and minds of the Pakistani’s and their government?

    jharp (2282bb)

  23. Why do you trust McCain’s ability to win a war when the U.S. didn’t really win the war in which he was involved?

    We would have won in Vietnam if JOHN McCAIN HADN’T BEEN LOCKED UP!

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  24. jharp, the statement was not a lie. It was a legitimate paraphrase of Obama’s own statements about Pakistan.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. ha. Legitimate paraphrase… oxymoron, coming from this site.

    truthnjustice (aed11a)

  26. This is a lie.

    Why is every post from this individual use the word “lie?” Every.Farkin’. Time.

    Try to say something else for once in your short life, Harpo.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  27. oxymoron

    Oxy in this case represents the medication you need in the morning, whereas moron represents…well, we all know.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  28. Dmac, it was amusing, coming from someone who does not know the definition of simple english words like “lie”, wasn’t it?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. jharp, the statement was not a lie. It was a legitimate paraphrase of Obama’s own statements about Pakistan.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/12/2008 @ 1:27 pm

    No, it was and is a lie. Your “legitimate paraphrase” changes the meaning of what he said.

    And your “legitimate paraphrase” is a lie to cover the first lie.

    Care to go for three in a row?

    “Why is every post from this individual use the word “lie?” Every.Farkin’. Time.”

    Only when a lie is posted.

    Try to say something else for once in your short life, Harpo.

    Comment by Dmac — 10/12/2008 @ 1:50 pm

    Stop posting lies.

    jharp (2282bb)

  30. SPQR, it’s always amusing, but they never seem to become aware of the self – flaggelation they’re been caught engaging in.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  31. jharp,

    Provide a link to what Obama said about Pakistan that you believe shows the paraphrase isn’t accurate. I won’t approve any more of your comments until you do that.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  32. during an August 1, 2007, foreign policy speech, Obama stated: “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won’t act, we will.” Obama did not mention “bomb[ing]” in general, nor did he specify what action he would take. He did not say he would take action against Pakistan, but against “high-value terrorist targets,” and that any action would be conditional on the receipt of “actionable intelligence” and the failure of Musharraf to act.

    jharp (2282bb)

  33. Can we stay on topic for once?!

    love2008 (3329b0)

  34. I released jharp’s comment because he provided a link that can be discussed regarding Obama’s position on Pakistan.

    There were also several other comments in the filter from a variety of commenters. I’m not sure which threads they relate to so you might check around for comments in the past hour on recent threads. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  35. Its pretty obvious that the comment by Daryl was a more accurate paraphrase of Obama, by jharp’s own quote, than anything jharp has ever written about McCain’s policies.

    Once again, jharp rebuts his own silly comments.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. “… ask his first wife…”

    And he was her 2nd-husband, so who has a problem with vows?

    Another Drew (912e22)

  37. “… ask his first wife…”

    And he was her 2nd-husband, so who has a problem with vows?

    Comment by Another Drew — 10/12/2008 @ 6:13 pm

    Umm. Both of them?

    jharp (2282bb)

  38. JHarp,

    They spent five years apart. People change in five years. Especially when they’ve been brutalized on a near daily basis. Marriages fall apart after shorter periods of separation.

    You don’t know the people involved, you don’t know what they went through. And by your words you show me you don’t want to know. Empathy shall never be part of your thinking, for you are incapable of understanding what empathy is.

    I know what John McCain went through because I’ve been through break ups myself. Even more, I can understand what John McCain and his first wife went through.

    In you I see no empathy, only empty squalling and vapid bitching.

    From Gordon Lightfoot…

    See the jailor with his key, who locks away all trace of sin
    See the judge upon the bench, who tries the case as best he can
    See the wise and wicked ones, who feed upon life’s sacred fire
    See the soldier with his gun, who must be dead to be admired

    I doubt you’ll ever understand those lines, because to see those people Gordon mentions you must have empathy.

    Alan Kellogg (e4d258)

  39. Comment by Alan Kellogg — 10/12/2008 @ 10:26 pm

    Pearls before swine, Alan.
    But pearls are good.

    Another Drew (912e22)

  40. I am fairly familiar with this part of the world. BTDT.

    The Pathan tribesmen (as the Paks call them; they are Pushtuns like many Afghans) in the border area have always had tribal, local and village militias. How these militias are employed, apart from defense of the village from outsiders, is a complicated equation involving the code of Pushtunwali, the austere and personal local version of Islam, and — not least — pragmatic concerns.

    The tribesmen do not like being told what to do by lowland Pakistanis. They do not like groups of foreigners. They generally don’t like one another’s tribes, although alliances form and burst like soap bubbles.

    I just want to make four points here:

    1. As many as we have lost fighting Taliban and ACM forces, the Pakistani Army has lost more. We have had some good allies in Pakistan, which the shallow media commentators and the equally shallow members of the Obama foreign policy horde don’t seem to grasp. (They just released a foreign policy document by a number of Clinton retreads, including Jamie Gorelick, lord love a duck. Yes, that Gorelick, who strangled the pre-9/11 investigation of Arab suicide pilots, and went on to loot dekamillions off Fannie Mac. Or Freddie Mae. Kind of an all-purpose public-policy numbskull).

    2. Ultimately, radical Islamist groups do the most damage to their own host countries and the regular Muslims who just want to be left alone. This leads, in the fullness of time, to a backlash as we have seen in the Sunni and Shia precincts of Iraq.

    3. The counterinsurgency cudgel ultimately must be taken up and employed by locals. You are unlikely to read about it in the Manhattan media.
    You will certainly not read about such assistance as the US may or may not render to any such locals.

    4. To assume that this whole series of concepts has not been long understood and acted upon by responsible people in responsible elements of USG is really to sell our people short.

    It is meet that Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen excise their own cancers. They know where to get help and advice if they can use it.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29)

  41. Comment by Kevin R.C. O’Brien — 10/12/2008 @ 10:33 pm

    Good post.
    I thought I was the only one who referred to these people as Pathans?
    Guess that’s a marker that you’ve actually spent time in the North-West Frontier.

    Another Drew (912e22)

  42. Drew,

    you and millions of Pakistanis. In their own language, a Pathan/Pushtun is an “Afghan.” The 50-60% of Afghans who are some other ethnicity get snippy about that.

    Since the 19th Century and King Abdur Rahman the Pushtun tribes have dreamed of uniting the Pushtun areas of British India (now of course part of Pakistan) under Afghan rule. The Durand Line is, after all, artificial and a foreign artifice at that.

    Meanwhile, the British, and their successors the Pakistanis, have had an interest in keeping Afghanistan somewhat unstable — or at least, less united and centralized than it was then. On Pakistan’s other border, since 1947 India has wanted a stable and unified Afghanistan to draw Pakistani interest away from Jammu and Kashmir.

    Many people of good will and ability in this region want us to succeed, and are willing to help, but they also have their own interests and needs.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29)

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