It would seem that Pakistani forces finally have the Taliban on the run!
It is crucial that the Pakistani military continues to fight, and hopefully eradicate the Pakistani Taliban. The Taliban is using familiar tactics. They have encouraged Pakistani citizens–those who fled the fighting–to return to their homes and villages. The Taliban has one of two goals, either melt away by blending in with the local population, or use the the locals as human shields. Either tactic spells trouble for Pakistan.
The current situation is reminiscent of the post 9/11 attack on Afghanistan; however, unlike American forces, who had to confront an entire country of Taliban the Pakistani Taliban is relatively concentrated. With death as the only option, the Pakistani Taliban are beginning to look desperate. It helps that the general population seems to have rejected the Taliban’s approach to Sharia law, and has given the military confidence to root out the militants.
I am quite pleased that the Pakistani forces are having such great success. I am interested, however, in knowing what caused their change of heart. The past few years have seen the Pakistan border region become a safe haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters fleeing US forces in Afghanistan. US drones make many cross-border strikes to attack senior Al Qaeda and Taleban forces with limited success. Pakistan had been seemingly unwilling to assist US forces in cracking down on these border havens. Perhaps the Pakistani government finally realized how menacing and close the Taliban threat was, or maybe someone over at the Pentagon threw a few Benjamins in the machine. Whatever the cause, I hope the Pakistani military is successful in eradicating the threat in Swat. Who knows… maybe they will just continue to the border and give our boys and girls a hand.