Army dilemma... By Butt
31 August, 2012
Since 9/11 the US or Pakistan have not made any significant gains except in Malakand division with heavy losses in men and material. It is true the US and Pakistan are engaged in a double game that is taking them away from their objective. Members of the Haqqani network are friendly and at the same time dangerous; their free movement across the border on both sides is a major cause of conflict between the US and Pakistan. There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that there are the Taliban that fight against us and likewise there are the Taliban that fight as our proxy against the US. The army finds itself more constrained because North Waziristan and the people there are its own and going against them is not as easy as the US perceives.
However, now the army is faced with a dilemma. It is seeing its North Waziristan campaign doctrine making no headway. The only way it can claim success in its local campaign is by carrying out a military operation in North Waziristan. This is also likely to be a tactical success as strategically the objectives achieved here will be lost to the losses suffered due to the militant reaction in the heartland of the country. Civilians may also start questioning the righteousness of the chosen doctrine considering the inability of the army to prevent reaction in the country's heartland. The other problem is of resources and the fatigue that the army is subjected to when asked to change gears from defensive to offensive operations. Our army has taken too long to sit and wait, thus exposing its troops to mental fatigue if not physical. Be it the army or the government, people want to know why every decision after meetings between the Pakistani top brass and the US military are announced from Washington, and not by Pakistan. The people are not satisfied with the preventive measures taken by the Air Force at Kamra when the threat was imminent and was expected. No doubt the PAF personnel did a wonderful job but the fact remains that the militants were able to penetrate one of the most secure and well-guarded institutions of our armed forces.
M A BUTT