Like We Needed Another Reason

by Joshua Foust on 10/21/2008 · 2 comments

On the off chance you still thought exporting Anbar to Afghanistan was a double-plus good idea, Grand Trunk Road notes some discouraging news:

A lashkar organised against militants in Charmang area of Bajaur has disintegrated and volunteers are on the run. Sources say that militants are burning houses of their opponents.

They said that militants burnt dozens of houses in Babara, Hashem village, Hilal Khel and Kerkana in Charmang.

A tribesman of Charmang tribe told Dawn that 24 houses were destroyed in Babara village and Taliban had regrouped in Charmang and Mamond areas, considered strongholds of the militants.

Security forces had launched full scale operation against militants in Bajaur on Aug 6. Interestingly, the tribesmen of Bajaur said that not a single militant commander had been eliminated during the two-month long operation in which air power was also used.

Somehow, the government couldn’t support them properly. Just what they were expecting is unclear, but what isn’t unclear is that raising a tribal army in Pashtunistan is much harder than it was in Iraq. All these insta-experts on Afghanistan clogging our op-ed pages would do well to remember that.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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TCHe October 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I wonder whether the government (or the military) wanted to support them in the first place …

Joshua Foust October 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm

They probably face the same dilemma the British did: they want the tribes to do their bidding, and to have just enough weaponry to do that, but they’re nervous about the tribes turning on them.

Everything old is new again, and all that.

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