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India-Pakistan: China Takes Sides
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February 5, 2010: Pakistani officials continue to press the U.S. for missile armed UAVs, so Pakistan can go after targets it selects, and ease the American UAVs out of Pakistan. The U.S. doesn't trust the Pakistanis, who can be bribed, and often have divided (pro-Taliban) loyalties. Pakistani politicians don't care, or at least have learned to live with these two problems, and want control of UAVs so they won't continue getting criticized for allowing American UAVs to deal with hunting down and killing terrorist leaders. This is considered humiliating by many, if not most, Pakistanis. But if the Pakistani government were in charge, the bad guys could bribe, or intimidate officials, to get off the target list. You can't do that with the Americans. What the Taliban can do is try and find who is supplying the location information of targets. The Americans actually use a wide array of sources, but the only ones the Taliban can get at are suspected spies. More are killed each month, and most are apparently innocent. This sort of thing angers a lot of people, as do a lot of Taliban policies. So the Taliban are taking note of growing public anger against them, and have, for example, allowed music to be sold again. For the last year, the Taliban had waged open, or guerilla, war against merchants who sold music CDs. The Taliban increasingly must use force to control populations, and this eventually backfires because most of the population is armed. If enough angry tribesmen get together, the Taliban are driven out of another town or valley. This has been happening a lot in the last year.

In Quetta, the largest city in Pakistani Baluchistan, two policemen were wounded when they questioned a suicide bomber equipped with a defective bomb. The bomber was wounded and captured. Baluchistan has its own tribal uprising, which has little to do with the Taliban (although the Baluch tribes allow the Taliban to hide out in Baluchistan).

China and Pakistan are becoming closer allies, and this worries India. For example, China is increasingly taking Pakistan's side in the Kashmir dispute. While Pakistan and India occupy most of Kashmir, China also grabbed 22 percent of Kashmir, and wants a settlement that will confirm their ownership.  But India disputes the Chinese claim, and many other such claims along its 4,000 kilometers border with China.

India continues to mass police and troops for a major campaign against Maoist rebels. In the last year, Maoist violence have been responsible for over a thousand deaths (most of them civilians). The Maoists are a combination of political rebels and bandits. Their activities are as often just criminal (stealing and extortion) as political (trying to influence elections or intimidate politicians.) The Maoists have been at it for two decades, and have worn out the support they long had with leftist political parties. The Maoists want a communist dictatorship, with Maoists in charge, and their former leftist allies are not keen on this.

February 3, 2010: In northwest Pakistan, a suicide car bomber rammed the specific vehicle in a convoy of five, that contained three U.S. Army Special Forces troops, killing the Americans. For years, there have been about a hundred of these American troops in Pakistan, used to train NCOs of the Frontier Corps, who then improve the training of these paramilitary troops, recruited from the tribes, who are the primary security force along the border. The accuracy of this attack (the killers knew where the Special Forces troops were headed and which car in a convoy) indicates corruption in the Pakistani security or intelligence forces. The corruption has always been there, and it would have cost a lot of cash to buy this kind of information. It may indicate the Taliban are desperate to strike back at any cost. The three dead Americans are the first to die in Pakistan in a decade of operating there. The three were travelling to a girls school that had recently been rebuilt (after having been damaged by the Taliban) with American aid.

February 2, 2010:  In Pakistan (North Waziristan) American USVs fired over a dozen missiles at four villages, killing about 17 suspected Taliban and al Qaeda members.

February 1, 2010: In the Bajaur area of the Pakistani tribal territories, about 4,000 people fled their homes as troops sought, and attacked, nearby bunkers and other hiding places used by the Taliban. At least 22 of the Islamic terrorists were killed. This operation is one of several in which the army is chasing down groups of Taliban who were part of larger forces that were defeated when the army broke Taliban control in the tribal territories.

January 31, 2010: The U.S. announced that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was dead, having died of wounds received in an American UAV missile attack two weeks ago. This conclusion is based on reports coming out of the tribal territories of Hakimullah Mehsud's burial, after two weeks of futile attempts to tend his wounds. Hakimullah Mehsud, replaced, after some internal fighting, the Pakistani Taliban leader who was killed by a missile strike last Summer.

January 30, 2010: In the Pakistani tribal territories, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 17 people and wounded nearly 50. The Taliban have also used several roadside bombs recently, attacking civilians in most cases. In response, the military has increased its air strikes and ground operations against the scattered Taliban groups still operating in the tribal territories.

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cwDeici       2/8/2010 1:49:34 PM
... some of the tribal territories...
They're refusing to go into N. Waziristing, which for the foreseeable future will be Hellfire capital.
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cwDeici       2/8/2010 1:53:47 PM
There was no internal infighting last leadership change. That was PGov propaganda!!
and his name was Baitullah... he was hardly some anonymous guy
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cwDeici       2/8/2010 1:59:33 PM
and 'still operating in the tribal territories'
SP is getting somewhat better on Pakistan (mostly because reality has actually changed to suit SPs view better) since the Government-Army are being increasingly pushed away from the most extreme anti-government elements and embarked on a comparatively staunch campaign of anti-government elimination in a few of the frontier provinces, but this is utterly moronic!
The Taliban, Al Qaeda are largely intact in the majority of pre-offensive areas of FATA and outside of them and have in a few areas even grown stronger though they've lost ground in several large key points.
They're also unpopular with their own people moreso than the lowlanders.
But - sheeze.
Do SP writers know nothing more than a passing glance on their articles? Oh wait, judging by all the complaints I've read about military equipment, this is indeed true mosot of the time.
Sooo... please don't wipe this post... I didn't say anything nasty about the people who run this place.
You definitely need to add more disclaimers if you're going to make general judgements about Pakistan.
The bad guys have been weakened but they're not going to collapse anytime soon as long as there aren't boots on the ground in all areas to allow for a general revolt.
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cwDeici       2/8/2010 2:07:33 PM
So yes, lots of wrong information here (in case the former post was removed).
I'm also ashamed China is backing Pakistan, but if India is too lazy to conquer Pakistan and won't let us have a bit of Pakistan's territory then I don't think it's a problem to own 22% of Kashmir.
I'm sure the Chinese government, given sufficient incentive that India can provide, will start to change its by now somewhat old yet wary alliance with Pakistan to India.  
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cwDeici       2/8/2010 2:09:18 PM
Oh and if they were removed I said nothing bad, just that it's dumb (slightly stronger word) to not fact-check or use more disclaimers.
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