Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

How not to win in Pakistan

Dawn of Pakistan, which is essential reading nowadays, reports that in a firefight in Swat, the Taliban captured and then set free about 30 members of Pakistani security forces “after securing written promise from them that they would quit their government jobs.” Amnesty — it’s not just for the Americans to give out anymore! The ...

588764_090205_Wana-NGA-Tactical-Pilotage-Chart2.jpg
588764_090205_Wana-NGA-Tactical-Pilotage-Chart2.jpg

Dawn of Pakistan, which is essential reading nowadays, reports that in a firefight in Swat, the Taliban captured and then set free about 30 members of Pakistani security forces "after securing written promise from them that they would quit their government jobs." Amnesty -- it's not just for the Americans to give out anymore!

The propaganda benefits don't stop there. A grateful constable Kiramat Shah told a reporter that, "Taliban have given us a new life. We had been under the siege for about 36 hours and pleaded for reinforcements, but nobody came to our help."

Dawn of Pakistan, which is essential reading nowadays, reports that in a firefight in Swat, the Taliban captured and then set free about 30 members of Pakistani security forces “after securing written promise from them that they would quit their government jobs.” Amnesty — it’s not just for the Americans to give out anymore!

The propaganda benefits don’t stop there. A grateful constable Kiramat Shah told a reporter that, “Taliban have given us a new life. We had been under the siege for about 36 hours and pleaded for reinforcements, but nobody came to our help.”

And there’s even more: The Pakistani army responded by firing off a bunch of artillery shells, killing four civilians, the newspaper reports.

Why is the Taliban so much better at this stuff than the Pakistani military? Taliban TTP (tactics, techniques and procedures) strikes me as pretty good.

To paraphrase John McCreary, this is today’s bad news.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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