July 11, 2008


Militant Gains in Pakistan Said to Draw Fighters (Eric Schmitt, 7/10/08, NY Times)

WASHINGTON — American military and intelligence officials say there has been an increase in recent months in the number of foreign fighters who have traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to join with militants there.

The flow may reflect a change that is making Pakistan, not Iraq, the preferred destination for some Sunni extremists from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia who are seeking to take up arms against the West, these officials say.

The American officials say the influx, which could be in the dozens but could also be higher, shows a further strengthening of the position of the forces of Al Qaeda in the tribal areas, increasingly seen as an important base of support for the Taliban, whose forces in Afghanistan have become more aggressive in their campaign against American-led troops.

According to the American officials, many of the fighters making their way to the tribal areas are Uzbeks, North Africans and Arabs from Persian Gulf states. American intelligence officials say that some jihadist Web sites have been encouraging foreign militants to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is considered a “winning fight,” compared with the insurgency in Iraq, which has suffered sharp setbacks recently.

Imagine how long it would take to track all these guys down in their own countries even if the CIA were marginally competent. Instead they voluntarily flood a free-fire zone.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2008 8:56 PM

30 to 40 guys go to Pakistan and its called an influx of fighters? Wonder what the NYT would call Spring Break in Panama, FL?

Posted by: Bartman at July 12, 2008 8:23 AM

These effing "tribal areas of Pakistan" (largely Pashtun) resemble nothing so much as a 13 year old Compton gang-banger. If fact, quite capable of causing trouble and damage, even death, but who is in fact swimmming in waters way way way out of his depth, completely unaware of the contempt that his elders and the authorities hold him, and in general, just plain begging to get used by everyone else around him until he is whacked and left in the gutter, there to lie unmourned and unlamented.

These are 7th century cavemen who think they can play in the big leagues. They'd do well to chill the hell out.

Posted by: Andrew X at July 12, 2008 9:38 AM

The difference is you face pr problems if you nuke LA, not the Tribal Areas.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2008 11:31 AM

Exactly. Just like no one gives a rats behind if you off this thirteen year old punk who thinks he's all badass O.G.

Same thing.

Posted by: Andrew X at July 12, 2008 1:23 PM

They get worked up. They enter Afghanistan. They take a village. Then they die. And the quality continues to degrade because no actual experience (as opposed to Koranic theory) comes back. IIRC, the Japanese insisted that their spirit would win out over Corsairs, Hellcats, and Marines.


Posted by: Mikey at July 14, 2008 12:28 AM
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