Here’s a piece I’ve written for our new online magazine, Current Intelligence:
The Pakistan military has done much to ease American concerns over the past year. It launched a successful offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban in the Swat valley last summer and it followed this with large-scale operations in South Waziristan. The success of the latter more difficult to gauge, but at it at least represented a much more concerted effort than had been tried before. Considering the heavy casualties it has suffered fighting Islamist militants (around 2,400 dead so far), and the deep public antipathy these operations have faced, the Pakistan military has strong grounds for rejecting the criticism that it fosters militancy and undermines the US effort in Afghanistan. In early 2010, with a slew of big players in the Quetta Shura now dead or captured, it even appears to be delivering what the US has been after all along – namely, concerted action against the Afghan Taliban.