“Any U.S. plan to combat Islamist extremism that relies on effective ground action from the Pakistani Army, the FC, or the Khasadars will fail.”

Propaganda and Peace Deals: The Taliban’s Information War in Pakistan

 

U.S. Assistance Unlikely to Make Impact

Although the United States declared it will invest $400 million to train and equip FC troops to combat the Pakistani Taliban and slow cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, even in the best of circumstances it would be hard to get FC troops to actively engage the Taliban; in fact, many of the FC troops are related to Taliban members.

After factoring in the FC’s demoralization, it becomes evident that no amount of training and equipment will likely be able to overcome the pull of local ties, when combined with the fear and guilt engendered by the Taliban’s intimidation tactics and propaganda. Marksmanship classes or Kevlar vests will not change the social realities on the ground, or the near total information dominance of the Taliban in FATA. The likelihood of a return on the $400 million investment is low.

 

 

Between the ISI, the ethnic Pashtun Taliban sympathizers at all levels of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and the Taliban’s highly successful Psychological Operations, the Paks aren’t much of an ally. But somehow the jingle trucks from Karachi and tankers from Rawalpindi keep getting through. When they stop getting through, there won’t be much reason left to worry about pissing off the Paks.

The nuclear Westphalian nation-state of Pakistan is incapable of exercising sovereignty over the tribal areas. Can they do much about cross-border raids?

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