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PBS Frontline has done an extraordinary job in airing documentaries focusing on the alarming security risks that threaten Pakistan as a viable nation-state.  Through various account sources through the documentaries state that the number of Taliban inside Pakistan is growing faster than the Pakistani Army.  The fundamentalist influece is gaining traction in places like Peshawar and metropolitan areas Karachi.  

To eliminate the threat, we hear about daily missle strikes in Pakistan with the help of Unmanned Aerial Vehicals (UAVs) or drones to take out militants.  It's disturbing yet predictable that even with the precision of such strikes that we cannot rule out civilian casualties. Such casualities, as the documentaries suggest major potential repercussions against our national interest.

Link to documentary video on -- Baitullah Mehsud, head of the Pakistani Taliban

http://www.pbs.org/...

Per Frontline:

Quick facts on Baitullah Mehsud:

He's had a fast rise to power. The Pakistani Taliban's stated goal is to overthrow the country's government.

In separate interviews this week, he told the Associated Press, Reuters and the BBC that the Lahore attack was in retaliation for U.S. Predator drone strikes on Pakistan -- and that an attack on Washington is on his list.

In another documentary highlighting the Taliban of Pakistan's influence on Children, Frontline Correspondent Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy highlights an emerging nation coming into power. A fundamentalist nation that is indoctrinating children as the state-sponsored education system has collapsted.  The documentary also describes how the Taliban use simple broadcasting mediums in the public square in order to promote fear in many areas.

Link to documentary video of Children of the Taliban:
http://www.pbs.org/...

As the current of state of Pakistan Army loosens its grip on maintaining order and signs treaty-after-treaty with the Taliban, it becomes clear that the influence of the Taliban nation holds an  advantage over the current regime in power.  Unless a new strategy is taken up soon, a great threat emerging from the region could very well create an irreversible problem for the South-Asian region and our interests.

Originally posted to aroramax on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 01:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I saw the doc (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northofboston

      It was stunning and disturbing. The fact is that these regions have always been very backward, with no real hope for the people and plenty of arms and munitions. Now they have a new enemy to unite against: the US

      The documentary mentioned how the Taleban influence and control these people through radio broadcasts and threats. Recently the CIA has started jamming these broadcasts. But that is not enough. They need to build real schools to replace the madrassas and have real security. It is a shame that 80% of Paksitan's armies are deployed on the east border guarding against a phantom enemy.

  •  the failed state meme again:take a deep breath (8+ / 0-)

    reposted comment but still very applicable
    from juan cole's blog

    Take a Deep Breath on Pakistan

    I don't know David Kilcullen. But the things he is alleged to have told Paul McGeogh of the Sydney Morning Herald about Pakistan are just bizarre.

    I don't know what is intended by the prediction that Pakistan might "collapse" in six months. The country faces security challenges, and has already seen terrorist attacks such as the bombing of the Marriott in Islamabad, and it could well see more such big bombings. That is not a collapse. It is a reason for better police work and security measures. The Gilani government could fall (it is a parliamentary system), but that would just provoke new elections and PM Gilani would get a successor (assuming there isn't another military coup, the real threat to 'stability.')

    And this paragraph:

    ' "But Pakistan has 173 million people and 100 nuclear weapons, an army which is bigger than the American army, and the headquarters of al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country which the Government does not control,"

    is self-contradictory and wrong. Maybe Kilcullen was misquoted or the quote is jumbled. The government firmly controls most of the country, which is to say Sindh and Punjab. There is instability in Baluchistan over Baluch desires for greater autonomy, but that large, craggy province only has 5 percent of the country's population. Most of the Northwest Frontier Province is patrolled by Pakistani police and military. So there is no "two-thirds" of the country that the government does not control.

    In fact, precisely since Pakistan has an army of 650,000 men under arms and another 500,000 reservists, it is absurd to think that a small rural insurgent group like the Taliban could "take over."

    What the government does not control is some parts of the Northwest Frontier Province and the 13 Federally Administered Tribal Areas, an area around the size of New Hampshire with a population (in FATA) of about 3.5 million.

    Many Western military observers just seem to me uncomfortable whenever Pakistan has a civilian government (was the country "unstable" three years ago under military dictatorship?) And they vastly overestimate the size and power of the groups they call the "Taliban."

    As for "al-Qaeda," there isn't much evidence of there being much left of it. The Pakistani press says there are 8000 foreign fighters holed up in FATA, but many appear to be locals-- Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc., who got into trouble with their own government, rather than the classical al-Qaeda of the 'Arab Afghans.'

    And, the Pakistani military just fought an extended campaign in Bajaur, one of the Tribal Agencies, to clear it of Taliban, with, apparently, if anything too much success (300,000 people were displaced from their homes by the campaign). If the military can do that in the home turf of the Taliban, of whom there are only a few thousand on the Pakistan side, than how could the latter take Islamabad?

    Small terrorist groups can be deadly, and the US could get hit by al-Qaeda again, even from FATA. But I doubt they can get up another attack of the magnitude of 9/11. The idea that FATA, this remote, mountainous region with a few rebellious and puritanical tribesmen and a small number of expatriate guerrillas, forms a dire threat to Western civilization (or even to the Pakistani military) just seems to me fantastical.

    Good Pakistan policy requires that the hyperbole be dialed down. There no need to hyperventilate about a collapse, or a Taliban takeover, or about the defeat of a 650,000-man army by a few thousand scruffy tribesmen. It is that kind of hysteria that impelled the deadly use of drones to fight the "Taliban," and which may be backfiring as young men from families with innocent dead in the US bombings turn to insurgency

  •  it's a very intersting topic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, aroramax

    Ethnogenesis is one of the topics that fascinate me most about history. I even tried to analyze this very issue at length in a previous diary, maybe you'll find it interesting.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 02:03:44 PM PDT

  •  I guess we'd better kill them harder. (0+ / 0-)

    That's the conclusion I am drawing, anyway.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 02:08:34 PM PDT

  •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

    Unless a new strategy is taken up soon, a great threat emerging from the region could very well create an irreversible problem for the South-Asian region and our interests.

    What irreversible problem would that be?

  •  Years ago I read an indepth story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcion, Joe Johnson

    in The New Yorker about the resurgence in the opium trade not long after our invasion of Afghanistan.  I was struck by the simple response of a rural resident who answered "We are all Taliban here", meaning not that he had any particular political conviction, but rather that he had a religious, tribal, and ethnic identity which precluded any other choice.

    And of course the British drew those territorial boundaries, right?  Much as they did in Iraq, so it happens.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 02:18:00 PM PDT

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