Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Could the Peshawar Attack Backfire on the Taliban?

The Atlantic magazine has an article speculating that Monday's attack on the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, could turn out to be a strategic error on the part of the Taliban.

Why the Taliban's U.S. Consulate Bombing Could Backfire:

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed credit for a devastating attack on the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, a city of three million just miles from the Afghan border. Could the Taliban group, despite its aim to topple Pakistan and expel the U.S., unintentionally do what the last three U.S. presidents have been unable to: Align Pakistani and U.S. interests against the Taliban and al-Qaeda?

-- snip --

Ironically, the militants that so threaten Pakistan are the state's own creation. During the Afghan civil war of the 1990s, Pakistan constructed along the Afghan border a vast infrastructure of madrassas and Islamic charities meant to train and fund an endless stream of militants ...... But in the years since, with [Ahmad Shah] Massoud now long gone, the fundamentalist insurgents have increasingly turned their efforts against Pakistan itself, which the insurgents see as too secular and too close to the U.S. The madrassa-opium-insurgency triangle functions as a self-sustaining and independent fighting force, which has careened out of Pakistan's control. Like Frankenstein's monster, the creation has grown too strong and turned against its creator.

-- snip --

The good news is that these [Talaban attacks on Pakistani targets] are spurring Pakistan to finally turn against the pro-Pakistan militants they've long supported or tolerated. In recent weeks, Pakistan has won praise from U.S. officials for arresting a string of Afghan Taliban leaders. As anti-Pakistan groups like the TTP continue to intermingle with state-nurtured militants like Jalaluddin Haqqani, Pakistan will no longer be able to turn a blind eye. Since the 1998 attacks on American embassies in Kenya, the U.S. has struggled and failed in lobbying Pakistan to turn against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid money could not bring Pakistan around, but a common enemy just might.

I suppose stranger things have happened.

1 comment:

A Daring Adventure said...

Thanks so much for this coverage!

And let's hope it does backfire.

My husband and I both watched the video - very sad and sobering. Loved that Diplopundit picked all this up, too!