Tuesday 22 June 2010

Failure of Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

A study on Counterinsurgency in Pakistan published by the Rand Corporation and written by Seth Jones and Christine Fair argues that despite some successes since 2001, militant groups continue to present a significant threat to Pakistan, the United States and several other countries.
Numerous militant networks ( Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) exist in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan has failed to develop an effective population-centric counterinsurgency strategy to combat them.
The authors add that Pakistan's decision to support some militant groups has been counterproductive and it has still not entirely broken with this strategy. The Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps have a mixed record in terms of clearing and holding territory, as illustrated by Operation al Mizan in South Waziristan in 2004. Operations have improved since then, but weaknesses remain.
The lack of an official counterinsurgency doctrine remains a "lingering challenge", while the lack of support for the police has had a detrimental effect on anti-terrorist operations.
The authors argue that four components are critical to adopting a more effective strategy: a population-centric approach based on a more central role for the police; the abandonment of militancy as a tool of its foreign and domestic policy; the reduction by the USA of its reliance on Pakistan, for example by seeking alternative routes to supply its troops in Afghanistan; the US should withhold some aid until Pakistan makes progress.

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