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22 October 2017 19:12 (South Africa)

Pakistan hopes to influence US AfPak decision post-South Waziristan success

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A month of military operations in the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan seem to have dispersed, though not eliminated, militants. This pattern casts a spotlight on the Obama administration’s dilemma as it struggles to reach a final decision on its strategy for the Afghanistan/Pakistan theatre of operations. American officials continue to encourage the Pakistan government to do more, this time in a letter from US President Barack Obama to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Permanent success remains elusive as the insurgents can easily drift from one part of the mountainous northwest region to another, or simply deeper into the terrain whenever challenged. The Pakistani military took American military observers and media on a “look see” through the area where fighting had taken place recently. Analysts expressed some surprise at relatively light fighting and light Pakistani Army casualties. As with guerrilla operations since the beginning of history, however, the big questions remain: How long will the army be able to hold the territory? And once they leave, will the militants simply come back? Read more: New York Times

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