Guest Post by Katherine Tiedemann: Leaving Waziristan


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Katherine Tiedemann is a program associate at the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program.
President Obama has shown his willingness to continue President Bush’s method for combating militancy on the Pakistani side of the Afghan/Pakistan border, ordering CIA-piloted QM-1 Predator drones to strike militant targets in Pakistan approximately once a week since he took office.
While releasing his newly-announced Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy review last Friday, Obama commented that, “Pakistan needs our help in going after al Qaeda….[and] we will insist that action be taken — one way or another — when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets in Pakistan.”
This morning’s airstrike in Pakistan’s Orakzai Agency marks a significant departure from President Obama’s previous policy of hunting extremists only inside Waziristan, Bajaur, and the NWFP.
While no Taliban or al Qaeda leaders were killed today, between ten and twelve militants died in the strike. It has also been rumored that the program might stretch into Baluchistan, another base of power for the Taliban in the country, but we’ve yet to see any strikes there.
The expansion of geographic targets and acceleration of the pace of the strikes indicates that Obama is deadly serious about eradicating the scourge of Taliban and al Qaeda militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Maybe, just maybe, coupling this military tactic with the increase in economic and development aid put forth in the strategy review will help create a safer, more stable region–probably not anytime soon, but someday.
(Photo credit: BBC)
— Katherine Tiedemann


17 comments on “Guest Post by Katherine Tiedemann: Leaving Waziristan

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    The map’s ethnic/leadership/control overlays are not detailed and specific enough to give a better understanding of just how complex a challenge confronts you.
    Those overlays also harden in the presence of outsiders more often than not.


  2. ... says:

    tony – i agree with much of what you say here, especially the part of the bush admins culpability in 9-11 and back into iraqs past… the same dishonest attitude was encouraged and cultivated by the bush admin with regard to terrorism as a means of exploiting 9-11 for all the wrong reasons which get expressed via the military’s making war in others countries.. this is why i have maintained that your attitude towards terrorism – jihad – helps maintain a view that has already been cultivated strongly via this same bush admin with all it’s lies and deceit and why i challenge you to consider what it is that you are actually supporting.. at no time have i seen you acknowledge the usa’s state sponsored terrorism, which all of these foreign extension moves are about.. it is over these finer points that i take issue with you…
    i maintain if the usa stayed at home and minded its own business instead of adopting a continuing attitude of imperialism towards the rest of the globe, there would be no jihad… your approach from where i see it only increases the continuity of them and of the military industrial complex that i always mention… you see, they both need each other to continue… pull the rug from the one and you pull it from the other… as i see it your approach is an escalation of both…


  3. TonyForesta says:

    Personal insults aside, the fascists in the bushgov intentionally did NOT hunt down, capture, or kill every jihadi on earth whomeveryouare.
    Look to the bushcrimefamilies cozy relationship with the duplicitous American haters in the House of Saud, and the spiriting of 140 Saudi national around and eventually out of America in the dark hours and days after 9/11 when every AMERICAN was grounded, the escape of Omar and bin Laden from Tora Bora and the redirection of vital resources and assets away from fighting al Quaida and Taliban in Afghanistan to pillaging oil in Iraq for proof. I believe the bushcrimefamilycabals were directly involved in 9/11, and if there ever is a real investigation into the massmurder and mayhem of that sad day, – this assertion would be proven without a shadow of doubt. The bushcrimefamilycabals utilize deepstate tactics and alliances with al Quaida, (whom Cheney and Rumsfeld helped train and arm to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan in the 80’s), jihadi elements of the ISI, the TALIBAN and other jihadi freaks to exploit the horrors of 9/11 as a cloak and a falseflag justification to attack and occupy Iraq and maraud Iraq’s oil resources, dismember, retard, and reengineer the Constitution, and profiteer wantonly from the conjuration of a neverendingwar against nebulous evildoers. The bushcrimefamilycabals NEVER sincerely targeted al Quaida, – and instead attacked and occupied Iraq. The bushcrimefamilycabals are focused entirely on wanton profiteering and illicitly commandeering control of the worlds oil and energy resources, and NOTHING MORE.
    I reject and repudiate these supremist and fascists policies, and any examination of my commentary over the last eight years will prove this point. My focus is now, always has been, and always will be on hunting down, capturing, or preferrably killing every jihadi on earth. You cannot change my positions by distorting the message and framing it in your contorted light.


  4. ... says:

    and we are going to hunt everyone one of them down… recognize how your lingo is essentially the same bullshit as bushs?? have you recognized what an idiot bush was yet? probably not… keep on shilling for the mic tony….


  5. TonyForesta says:

    Then jehadi-islam is going to suffer the same demise of “yesterdays communism” Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi, – and the sooner the better for the rest of civilized humanity.
    You always try to broaden the context, distort the message, and reframe my positions whomeveryouare. I do not support state sponsered terrorists, or invasions or occupations, and colonization, or imperialism, or wanton profiteering, or supremist ideologies.
    That said, I am “shilling them, (every police, intelligence, or military asset in America’s vast arsenal) and giving a green light to” mercilessly hunt down, capture, or perferrably kill every single jihadi on earth.


  6. ... says:

    tony foresta – there is no way to deal with a military industrial complex run amok, but you are happy to go along with their bullshit about chasing “jihadists or talibani’s”… you are shilling them, giving a green light to your own state sponsored terrorists, which is how everyone else on the globe views the usa’s missions abroad… this isn’t about “policing and intel” as you like to refer to their job status… terrorism is always something other then the state sponsored crap your country has put on others for the past 60 years according to you… try waking up!


  7. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Mr foresta badly needs to correct his studies about the ongoning paradoxes of the theories of international relations which tell us that yesterday’s communism- the West’s betenoire of the cold war era- has been replaced by the Jehadi-Islam.


  8. TonyForesta says:

    I wish there were some hope for peace on earth and good will toward mens, – but alas, – that dream is impossible in the world man. Man is a savage beast. All the peacemakers including Ghandi (who was killed by a jihadi, Martin Luther King, and going back to Jesus are always slaughtered by butchering fundamentalists. So to pretend like there are some nice and decent governments out there who do not resort to warfare or precision strikes to advance or defend those governments interests – is delusional.
    That said, there is no way to negotiate with jihadists or talibani’s. Their freakish malignancies are irreconcilable and peace or reconciliation are nonstarters. It’s impossible. If jihadists or talibani’s could keep their freakish perversions in their own tribes and in their own kingdoms, – perhaps the rest of the world would turn a blind eye to thier primitive barbarism and sexual repression. But jihadist seek a global caliphate. This ridiculous pipedream is NEVER going to happen. Civilized societies are NEVER going to succumb to the malignant freakish perversions of jihadist islam. The west did not declare war on islam. Rather, the inconvenient truth jihadi and talibani supporters and apologists cunningly ignore – is that jihadists and the taliban declared war on us. Ask, and ye shall recieve. I do not support huge land invasions or occupations or colonizations of any foriegn lands. But these freaks are bent on striking at western targets, and so are fair game to preemptive or counter strikes to defend Western interests.
    Please allow an analogy. If I encounter a poisonous snake in the wild, – unless it directly threatens me, I will walk away and leave it to poison it’s own domains. But if that poisonous reptile comes into my backyard, or threatens family or loved ones in anyway – I kill it mercilessly and with no remorse. Jihadi’s and their primitive, perverted, sexually repressed, malignant and freakish religion are a threat to civilized societies. Just as the world stamped out nuetered nazi’s after WWII, and rendered their political and operational capabilities impotent and moot, and forced thier ideologies their freakish followers deep underground, or sent them to jails, or hung them by the neck until dead, – so the same actions should and WILL be taken against the malignant perverted freaks of jihadist islam. All their imams, clerics, and practioners, every madrass and mosque proselytizing jihadism must be burnt from the face of the earth. There is no other way to deal with these monsters and freaks. Every single one of them must be ruthless hunted down, capture or preferrably killed.


  9. ... says:

    hey tony foresta, how are you going to get rid of the mass murderers that are supporting? if you think all the money going into your military is for giving flowers out to others around the globe, you are mistaken… they kill people regularly and you condone it… all your bullshit about going after mass murderers when you are supporting your own makes me puke..


  10. erichwwk says:

    I certainly hope Mr. Foresta’s views have little influence or concurrence.
    As Gandhi so aptly stated: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
    Force is quick temporary fix, and appeals to those in need of instant gratification, and unwilling to do the sort of things that bring permanent peace and prosperity. It seems to me what Greg Mortenson does to win over the Taliban, and get them to send their daughters to his schools, is a much more mature and lasting solution that “blowing people off the face of the earth”.
    Even the Iranians aren’t as bloodthirsty, being content with letting people live, and just wiping illegitimate REGIMES off a MAP.
    I wonder how Mr. Foresta determines just WHO should be “blown off the face of the earth”? What Americans would he include in this group? What would be the criteria for inclusion or exclusion?


  11. JohnH says:

    Truly amazing–“The expansion of geographic targets and acceleration of the pace of the strikes indicates that Obama is deadly serious about eradicating the scourge of Taliban and al Qaeda militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
    But how can he be sure that he won’t just create more terrorists and push them to migrate into the protection of Pakistani cities?
    The best way for the US to stop terrorist attacks against its forces in Afghanistan is to stop its “forward leaning” activities.
    Hard as this may be for the beltway elites to understand, nobody wants to be under the yoke of a foreign power, particularly an insensitive one that has that shows no remorse for blowing up wedding parties.


  12. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    mr foresta’s comments do signify nothing but emotional and sensatioanl approach, yet it seems surprising enough that mr foresta’ prognosis may have any influence in the strategists’corner of the Washington note.


  13. TonyForesta says:

    Obama’s strategy of striking threat, (jihadi, talibani, terrorista) anywhere, anytime is the only real option for eliminating these massmurderers and nuetralizing their massmurder operations. Hunt these freaks down, target them, and blow them off the face of the earth. Every single one of them. We don’t need huge land forces and armor and thousands of US troops in uniform roaming the netherreaches of Waziristan, Bajaur, and the NWFP like legionaires. That strategy is suicidal and impotent. We need good intel to infiltrate their cells, target them, and kill them.
    If the people of Pakistan want a healthy relationship with the US Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi, then they will support these kinds of precision strikes against all jihadi and talibani threats. If not, and the people of Pakistan support jihadis and talibanis – then be certain the US does want, and will never have a healthy relationship with Pakistan.


  14. Gabe says:

    If Obama was serious about rooting out the violent groups of this region he’d be applying a full court press on the ISI and the rest of those in the Pakistani Govt & Military who quite happily prop up these groups as proxy forces to destabilize Afghanistan and Kashmir.
    Sadly, Obama isn’t serious about a real solution to this region and its problems.


  15. Cee says:

    So Obama will be hunting another useful phantom?
    It’s a miracle! Pakistan Taleban chief Baitullah Mehsud — who supposedly died from kidney failure six months ago — takes credit for three recent deadly terror attacks, including Monday’s attack on a police academy in Lahore.


  16. ... says:

    war, war and more war… never challenge your military industrial complex… always believe the excuses for why the usa has to be in someone elses house…


  17. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Sadly but truly, the Obama’s administration-orchestrated strategy to strike inside the Pak-Afghan border-based Pakistani territories cannot be welcomed by the people of Pakistan, nor it can be defacto and dejure accepted by the government and yet nevertheless, the Washington-planned any future design to practice the drones attack in the part of Pakistan’s largest province of Bluchistan would be a fatal and unrealistic move that may completely undermine the US- Pakistan relations.


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