Attrition: Measuring The Pakistani Stick


October 10,2008:  Pakistan has made public its casualty numbers in the war on terror. In the last seven years, their security forces have lost about 1,400 dead and 3,400 wounded, mainly fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis believe they have killed 2,244 hostile Pakistanis (mainly Taliban) and 581 foreigners (al Qaeda). The terrorists have also suffered at least 1,400 wounded. Several thousand Taliban, and about 600 al Qaeda suspects have been arrested.

Counter-terror operations have greatly increased in the last year, with nearly half the Taliban and al Qaeda casualties occurring in that period. Pakistan has tried, without success, to negotiate agreements with the tribes (most of whom are hostile to the Taliban and al Qaeda). Meanwhile, the terrorists continued to make attacks outside the tribal areas, including many assassination attempts on Pakistani leaders. This reached a point where Pakistan largely dispensed with the carrot, and went in big time with the stick.


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