March 3rd, 2010
10:20 AM ET

Bad two months for the Taliban

I’ve lived in Pakistan for more than two years and this is the worst two-month stretch I’ve seen the Taliban suffer through during my stay. The Taliban are in a slump and much of it has to do with Pakistan’s top spy agency and Pakistani security forces turning up the heat.
 
Consider the facts.

In January a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. A few weeks later another drone strike killed Mohammad Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the notorious pro-Taliban warlord accused of launching attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Many analysts say the controversial drone strikes are reaching their targets with the help of Pakistani intelligence.
 
Last month the I.S.I., Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, helped capture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Karachi. Baradar was the Afghan Taliban’s second in command behind Mullah Omar. Days later the I.S.I. nabbed at least four other senior Afghan Taliban leaders. All of them were hiding in Pakistan.
 
This week the Pakistani Army took a group of journalists to the tribal region along the Afghan border to show off its latest victory against the Taliban, the taking back of Damadola, a region in the district of Bajaur, a 30-minute drive through the mountains from Afghanistan. The army calls Damadola a militant nerve center, where insurgents launched attacks against U.S. and international forces across the border. In 2006 a U.S. drone strike destroyed a hillside compound here. Al Qaeda’s number two Ayman Al Zawahiri was the target. 
 
“We know al Qaeda was here,” said Major General Tariq Khan, the Pakistan military’s regional commander.
 
On our trip to Damadola, the army showed us where the Taliban lived, an intricate network of 154 tunnels and caves. It must’ve taken the militants years to gouge out the rocks and debris. The end result was a multi-room apartment complex inside a mountain. Long tunnels connected bedrooms that were lined with old sleeping bags. In one room a pair of old sneakers sat in a corner. An old pink comb and a broken Casio digital watch sat in another. One military official told me one of the caves served as a medical clinic.
 
The military began its offensive here back in August of 2008 but the Taliban fought hard to keep Damadola. Nearly 17 months later of fierce fighting later, the last month focusing on Damadola, the army says it’s now in control.
 
The military says it plans to stay in control with the help of local pro-government militias. Hundreds of armed militia men in Damadola greeted us with song and dance. I’d never seen so many men dance with AK-47s and grenade launchers. 
 
“No, no they can’t comeback now,” said militia member Abdul Satar. “The Taliban have weapons but we’ll show them we have more.”
 
The taking back of Damadola is another important achievement for Pakistani security forces who have been targets of much criticism from Washington. In recent years U.S. military and intelligence officials have accused Pakistan of not doing enough against militants, even helping the Taliban to eventually secure and ally in Afghanistan once U.S. and international forces leave. Washington hasn’t criticized Pakistan much lately. Pakistan’s recent winning streak against the Taliban has a lot to do with it.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Haqqani • Pakistan • Taliban
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Brian from Chicago

    Randy Silver, you ask us to do critical thinking after telling us what to think. You also imply that your audience is too intoxicated to have arrived at the same conclusion before you did. But you don't have to be so rude.

    I don't agree that the US introduced an insurgency to destabilize Pakistan. We're already concerned about Pakistan's stability for reasons you have mentioned (and with which I don't disagree). I think the insurgency was a natural and foreseeable by-product of the US invasion of Afghanistan, not an elaborate conspiracy.

    I also don't agree that the US is at China's mercy. Yes, they own our debt, but they can't sell it off without triggering worsening global economic effects that would work against their own interests as well as everyone else's. It's more like we've entered into a strange partnership in which our fates are entertwined. And wasn't that the whole goal of globalization? To gradually learn to respect each other and work together in spite of our differences?

    Finally, your dioxin suggestion is of great concern to me. I really hope you are not advocating chemical warfare against civilians, as this would amount to genocide. That particular poison would not degrade quickly enough to protect non-poppy farms from runoff, nor would it be harmless in the water supply of many Afghans.

    Perhaps we should all give these things more ciritical thought.

    March 11, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Randy Silver

    Okay, so I'm here once again to explain what is really going on.

    Pakistan is rapidly approaching "failed state" status, and with the nukes it possesses, this is not a good situation because there are a lot of people within the Pak govt. who are in control of these 'toys' and would rather blackmail the west than go down to the nearest intersection and offer to clean people's windshields.

    Applying pressure on Pakistan through diplomacy and incentives has failed- period. The only way to get the govt. to do anything is to create a tumultuous situation for them- yes, we are, in effect, calling their bluff. We are eroding Pakistan's ability to function by introducing the insurgent "cancer." We've most likely asked the Indian secret service to do our dirty work in light of the fact Pakistan and China are allies.

    Why isn't the US getting more aggressive? The answer is simple: We're broke and, because the Chinese own our debt (and most of our strategic metals), we're at their mercy. The Chinese have substantial investment interests in Pakistan. Pakistan is also China's bulldog for use against India.

    Crazy? Just ask yourself one question, why haven't we splashed Agent Green dioxin on the Taliban's main source of income: Afghanistan's poppy fields?

    C'mon people, it's time to put the beer and the bong down and really do some critical thinking.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doctrine Pakistan

    Pakistan has made a strategic shift and will continue as long as the US also recognises pakistans legitimate security concerns vis a vis indian presence in Afghanistan. Taliban will eventually be defeated enough that they will become part of a political process. What ever is left of Al qaeda will also be wiped out. Everybody wins here except the Indians who would rather that the region statys destabilised so they can continue to see an unstable Pakistan at the expense of everyone, the US included. Thats the mentality you are dealing with here.

    March 10, 2010 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Diablo

    Wow...its ignorance bliss on this blog!! Get a hold of yourselves ...

    So much hype about the drone attacks, the arrests, the help form ISI....I'm an american but I'd like americans to think for a second here – has it done any good for the common person in pakistan or for that matter here in america?

    Have you ever heard of a school being built in pakistan with BILLIONS gone into that country? You never will. They want every penny going to armed forces so every son & daughter can hold a gun, own a tank, an f-16, an AK rifle, a RPG, a few grenades...you name it!!

    The obama administration wants support from the pakistani government to be able to make these claims every now & then – which I agree are somewhat important ...to keep america content with their policy.

    Has it occurred to anyone (in the goverment) or otherwise that pakistan is playing americans...just like the afghans did. A bit of a history repeat – America gave afghans the same weapons that are used in warfare with Americans today. Its the EXACT same thing. IF not on americans, they will take the war to India as they have 3 times in the past. They are in full gear to de-stabalize the region with of course – all the monetary help from america.

    On the pretext of helping America "catch" taliban & osama – they will drain the american $ so quickly – even ENRON debacle would be put to shame.

    Pakistan does not want to become an ally, they could care less. They want a stronger army, well equipped so they can show their superiority in the region. The want to fund the cause for Kashmir – deep rooted in the minds of every individual, maximize intrusions in India to create havoc with public through well organized and funded terror activities.

    America will have to live with guilt for a long time if they don't put an end to this now.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    I am moved to respond to Daniels comment below.

    If you really believe this is victory for western culture you are not understanding anything.

    I have lived in and have extensive experience traveling to muslim countries and i can tell you it is a fine religion whose good name is being spoiled by a minute number of extremists i would say less than 1 /1000000 of muslim people. I have friends who are pakistani and I wince everytime there is a bomb. I can tell you from first hand experience that muslim people want the same as all humanity. Happiness, Peace and a better life for their children.

    Anything else is crap

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jester

    The army could not do this without local support, a lot of foreign element had also mixed up and called themselves Taliban , it was discovered from examining the corpses of many militants that these people were not even muslims, the Indian consulates along the Afghan border are really doing there job, but they will face the music surely too someday.

    March 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leigh

    Septimus, we don't have to worry about people coming from three thousand miles away and inhabiting our country because we are able to handle our own. Acknowledge your country has a problem and it's obvious you can't fix it yourselves. Maye if you spent more time killing the bad poeple harbored in your country we wouldn't have to do it to save the people of your countries lives having the nerve to call our soldiers cowards for risking their lives for your country like they would rather be over there instead of with their own families here is one of your main problems. We don't give a crap what you believe in just as long as you and your people would use the common sense that your so called "allah" gave you and quit strapping bombs to innocent children and idiotic adults. As far as I'm concerned you and all the other ignorant people like you can gather around and blow yourselves up. You can call yourselves martyrs or something, who cares.

    March 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kristian

    Lance – To win this war is about resources yes.. , but to start discussing if it is the u.s doing all of this like your trying to say makes me want to teach you reality.
    this war could not have been won without the west- the west: canada, the u.s , norway, sweeden , england , poland etc and also this war cant be won without local ppl on the west´s side 😉
    just like the ww2- the west won, not the u.s.
    alone the u.s could not do this, just so we know who the west is.

    And I am Isaf- meaning a soldier in M.sharif afghanistan.

    March 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. septimus severius

    when the americans will come to terms with the fact that the afgan does not obey to the corrupt puppet in kaboul but to his tribal chief,,,and that is not realistic to try to change this,,,

    March 6, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. septimus severius

    do we muslims have to thank the US for the mess that they are doing to our region,,,,would you like some one coming from thousands of milles occupy your land and humiliate you ,,,,impose a corrupt and puppet president ,,,,and expect us just to stay idle and let you do ,,,no we won t ,,we will fight back we will kill your coward boys and our land will be the grave for anybody who comes to fight us,,,,,we ordinary muslims have nothing to do with benladen you better ask your ex president the stupid neo criosader ,,he could be hiding in his ranch in texas ....he does not represent me nor the silent majority of muslims,,,the states have nothing to gain from this war but hate and anger from a good part of the muslim

    March 6, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ron

    To Daniel, Whose side are you on? You condemn the U.S. for dropping bombs on the militants but I don't hear you condemning the militants for their brutal murders of teachers and children in schools trying to get educated which seem to be one of the things militants hate – educated people. Wise up! First of all, if possible, think. If the Taliban and al Qaeda take over in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq don't you think that these countries will become breeding grounds for the terrorists? And what about the people who live there now, what will the Taliban do to them? The Taliban have done havoc in every place they have had power. I suggest Daniel that you get the book "The Looming Towers" by Lawrence Wright it is about the birth of Al Qaeda and the Taliban and a lot of history on Osama Bin Laden. The guy (Osama) is a nut case. If you still feel the same way about the U.S. vs the militants, terrorists etc. than I say, move to Pakistan and help the poor, poor, people. Maybe you can help harvest the poppies for them.

    March 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James

    Funny Dance! I hope the Pakistanies are honest about their operation. That will be a game changer,

    March 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TGNY

    Daniel: You are a moron!

    March 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tunde

    First and foremost, all the comments posted above are nonsensical. The Talibans are only defending themselves and the entire Muslim nations against the U.S oppression and transgression. U.S and her allies are only joking whether they like it or not they will fail at last and they will never prosper. Because, the people who have inner sense will know that the U.S are not fighting the Talibans for any reason other than that they are Muslims and they want to live their entire life in accordance with the pure teaching of Islam. All the U.S effort against the Muslims and Islam will soon come to vain. The final victory will definitely come to the Muslims. Maasha Allah.

    March 5, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. leigh

    Daniel I don't know if you suffer from memory loss or what but it's obvious that you seem to have either forgotten or have no remorse for almost three thousand Americans that were killed on September 11. The United States is doing what they need to do to ensure that it doesn't happen again. It's called war, innocent people die and that's the way it is but unlike the violent attacks on us that were done out of spite our attacks are done as a way to ensure the safety of many more people. I'm from a military family with a father in Afghanistan and if he is willing to risk his life for something that he believes is right, while you sit in the safety of your own home then as far as i'm concerned if you can't support that you don't deserve any rights. As for the taliban being "militant" that's a load of crap. Negotiate with people who can't even fight the U.S. face to face and resort to hiding IED's underground and never facing them. That's called being a coward. As for the U.S. destroying muslim culture, if that were true then wouldn't we ban all religious symbols and meeting places in the United States? Regardless of what anyone believes is right or wrong, our troops are the ones out there risking their lives and they should be supported by all regardless of whether or not you support the war.

    March 5, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  16. pplr

    Shawn don't be an ignorant fool yourself. You had at least some respect from me until you started insulting religions (probably as many as you could think of at the moment).

    That "New Atheist" ideology is often just a new way for people to know little but use an intolerant big mouth. And yes I used the word "ideology", I could use the word "dogma" too. The claims that Atheism was never involved hurting anyone is one definitely one of the more self serving bits of dishonesty and propaganda I've seen-especially as it utterly ignores modern history that documents, and other items, exist for and can prove.

    I hope people who are thinking about believing that ideology actually take a serious look at its self proclaimed superiority, it doesn't take that much "reason" or "skepticism" to see through it.

    Daniel, do you suffer from self-loathing or loath your own society.

    There was a comment made by an Islamic scholar that visited Europe decades ago that when he went went there he found Islam but no Muslims. When he returned home he found Muslims but no Islam.

    There was a time when Islam promoted a wise, educated, and relatively tolerant society. Now people cheering for supposed "Islam" winning over the "West" are using it as an excuse to embrace the backward and cruel "isms" many in the "West" spent the last century making progress against.

    You should think that over before you hope for that particular version of Islam's victory over anything.

    As greedy, corrupt, and bloody as Capitalism run amok can be, that self proclaimed Islam (people debate if it even is one) is no better.

    March 5, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  17. kristian

    I wonder how many fake ppl in here are pretending to be western and hide away with a name like for example Daniel or whatever , so what Im asking is how many has the middlename mohammed or azim or camelhump or.. it goes on and on.. !

    March 5, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  18. Scott Jacobs

    Three cheers for the Pakistan military. Keep up the pressure, and drive those terrorists back cave by cave. We are behind you all the way.

    March 5, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  19. lance

    It's a rough crowd...I have been there and done that...think positive we will get what we wan't ...The US has the best recorces of any one....We should be proud that we got # 2...Why are we bitching about Bin Laden...OUCH..WE GOT # 1 Hussain...I think he has already passed on...BUT he has a folowing we cant icnore....If he hasnt been killed we will get him....: ) Trust or Service.......Navy..Marines...Army....Air Force...Cost Guard...

    March 5, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  20. Shawn

    Daniel got some hate for the West..hater..go back to the mountains or blow yourself up.
    How many people do you actually know that come to US from Middle East and complains about how "Western" USA is...probably none! cuz "Western" only seems to imply living like a human being and having the freedom to persue happiness which make each individuals happy. Not what some old book/sheik/Iman/rabbi are telling you. can't believe so many people still fall for that religion crap...

    March 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  21. occoni

    i think taliban and paki is a symbiosis. cos if paki bulldozed taliban. paki would lose a largesse from us if taliban upstakes from paki taliban would lose the last haven

    March 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Nancy Ballard A Proud Marine Mom

    Daniel, Why dont you go over there and join the Taliban.

    March 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Daniel

    I keep reading all this bravado about the use of these ungodly drone airplanes and I find this utterly nauseating.What's wrong with the people touting all this obscene butchery?And the rotten butchers who operate them? I don't remember anybody touting Jeffrey Dahmer,Charles Manson or Richard Speck over what they did.So is our society growing sicker by the year,or what???

    March 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. airpower

    This is a good news stroy for both the US and Pakistani Govts. Due to the increase of military operations in the "gaps" stongholds can now be exploited and Taliban forces are on their toes. This will be an on going issue and as long as there is mutual support, the Taliban forces will have to come up with new tactics and always be looking for a place to hunker down.

    March 4, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  25. RT

    Money is not everything; any body who's got a lot of it can have lotsa poor country puppets!

    Beggars do not have the strength to resist if the price is right – some of them of course have the ability to bargain for more if the leverage to do so is very very visible.

    I also remember a guy who once said, "Beggars cannot be choosers".

    What a shame to his country of origin!

    March 4, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  26. Iveeno

    There comes a time when the locals will have to fight for themselves, united. National pride is strongest when the cost to gain that nation was high. The US is doing the Afghanis and Pakistanis a disservice if US servicemen and women carry the burden for them forever. Is victory even possible if the fight is not fought by those who inhabit the region?

    March 4, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  27. Asokka

    Its good to see the Pakistani's removing the Taliban on their own. I think many young men join the Taliban as a means to feed and support their family's. It would be niice to see the Government there help these people improve their communtiy to triger a response from others that if you help our cause you will not have to rely on terrorist funding for a better life.

    March 4, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  28. Pinoy

    Way to go! Keep up the pressure.More drone strikes and hits on its leadership.

    March 4, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  29. VOR1

    Wow, is there a more clueless person on this planet than Daniel????
    The US destroying Islamic culture??
    I guess you just gloss over the Taliban blowing up and defacing the Budda statues, beating up males if their beards were'nt long enough. I won't even bring up what they do to females.
    NONE of that has to do with Islamic Culture!

    March 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  30. kristian

    Daniel – the west dont really need pakistan.
    If there will be trouble with these terrorists in the future I hope the west starts sending home all muslims. cos we are good ppl letting muslims into the west and we in the west are less welcom on muslim ground. so we in the west better start drawing a line for the future- alot of trouble: kicked out. simple.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Erin

    It sounds good, so far...but what if the Army leaves,and many of the militia turn out to be undercover Talibans who kill off non-Taliban militia members, and bring the Taliban back to town? The government should keep troops stationed in Damadola to back up the militia.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Christer Friberg

    I hate violence and hate when we cannot except that we are all different, like religious beliefs. The Taliban are for violence and against human rights, so the world don't need them, unless they are willing to change.

    March 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jeremiah

    If they are found on pakistani soil its the pakistani problem not the US. WE are not the police of the world. Yes they have done wrong to us In afghanistan and Iraq but pakistan has also been wronged alot more and for alot longer than we have. WHy do you think our rights should come before theres. Who the hell do you think you are?

    March 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Brian from Chicago

    Just to be clear, al Qaeda are terrorists. The Taliban are militants. The difference is that you can eventually reach an settlement with militants.

    The CIA supported several groups in Afghanistan in a proxy war with the Sovient Union, and the Taliban was one of those groups. We could look back and say "shame on the US", but remember that it was the Soviets who invaded. We tried to restore the balance of power to the Afghanistani people, and the indiginous Taliban made the most of it.

    The ISI also supported the Taliban because they shared an interest in resisting Soviet influence. It's not hard to understand why Pakistanis have had a hard time accepting that the Taliban has become their enemy. But perhaps that has come to an end.

    If Mullah Omar can help us to locate and neutralize senior al Qaeda leadership, that would go a long way toward proving they have severed ties. Then we can actually negotiate for peace. The US doesn't have any ambitions of staying in Afghanistan any longer than that.

    Daniel, you're a very jaded person and I feel sorry for you.

    March 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  35. boktop

    The world is a better place with these men out of power. Dont' trick yourself into believing that they are freedom fighters, the leadership of the taliban Paki/ afghani are terrorists plain and simple. Educate the masses, give money to promote childrens/ womens education and freedom, and empower the people to stand up for themselves...then kill the leadership of the opposition forces. perfectly executed counterinsurgency. "Counterinsurgency is messy, like eating soup with a knife". it aint quick folks, this stuff takes time. We quit in Vietnam, we were not beaten. we should see this through to the end.

    March 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  36. rof

    what will pakistans get for this wow ok if i don't know the answer who do ammmmm,if we don't gave them nothing will we get the one we really need ammmmmm only pakistans know where that one that i just mention is you and i know who i'm talking about,all we have to do is just show pakistans that we will not left them for ind,

    March 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  37. A. Smith, Oregon

    The Pakistani ISI rounding up the Taliban freedom fighters? You mean roll call as in issue a summons or give them their monthly allowance and new military equipment? This entirely sounds like a nationalistic propaganda campaign to allow the war in Afghanistan supporters feel good. The sooner America pulls the plug on Afghanistan, Iraq and the enormous drain on the American tax payers, the more all American's are going to cheer and applaud. Stop giving Pakistan billions of tax payer dollars in bribes.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Daniel

    The person who just touted the use of those ungodly drone aircraft against the so-called "militants" with their 500lb.must be a sociopath or be horrifically insensitive to human suffering.Does't he realize the pain and suffering they're bringing to the people living there?And the butchers operating them are indeed doing a "good job" to my chagrin.And they call the Taliban "terrorists".

    March 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Mike A.

    Vishnu, you should not be talking. You are observably an Indian (so as a consequence you are not a friend of Pakistan and of America, as history confirm it) and you absolutely have nothing to do with anything regarding OUR U.S. govt and our ally Pakistan and our associations. Plus you should be worried about problems in your poor country rather than pointing out fingers at others who actually are fighting a common war. Pakistan is now seriously working on getting rid of their and our common enemies. There are many multifaceted strategic issues which Indians (who are trying really hard to use the situation in their favor) are not going to understand. America is not going to get involve in your animosity with our major ally Pakistan. India and Indians are better off staying out. These issues are beyond you guys.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  40. ProudPakistani

    It has taken time to roll back a decade of policy. While the US was ignoring the region, Pakistan was building its control via the Taliban. That flawed policy has taken time to reverse but the results are obvious to all, except Indians. Sadly the biggest threat to Pakistan is no longer the Taliban (as they are mostly defeated) but India. As can be seen by the comments here, it is the Indians (e.g. vishnu). Read comments on any Indian newspaper wesbsite and you will know why I feel this way. The Taliban will be defeated, the ideology of terror will also be defeated, but Pakistan will stand proud and independent!

    March 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Rich

    Would you rather pay pakistan a 100 million dollars to take out the taliban? or would you rather send your Son or Daughter in to do it instead. If it takes money to win this war without losing a loved one, where do I send my check?

    March 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Mauryan

    This effort should not stop now. The Taliban must be surrounded and cornered from all angles until Mullah Omar and other chieftains are given their funeral services. Once that is done, Bin Laden will be on the run and he can be nailed too. There will be no Taliban without its leaders. The rest are simply unemployed Pashtuns who are sitting on the wall to see which side makes the gain and will readily switch to that side. RIght now the American led coalition forces are gaining. That momentum has to be kept alive. They must knock the Haqqani and the Hekmatyar so that all the carcinogens left from the war against the Soviets are eliminated. The NWFP and South Eastern Afghanistan must be brought under international control for the next 25 or more years until the place develops the proper infrastructure in terms of roads, communications, policing, law and order, education, agriculture, industries and so on. All poppy fields must be burnt and this region must be monitored to prevent insurgency developing again. The region needs long term support which does not have to be in the form of full scale military campaign. Pakistan must also be helped to bring in businesses, funding, infrastructure building etc to provide employment opportuinities for its young population. This too will take a couple of decades. Only then can the world be rest assured that Islamic terrorism has been put to bed. But this is good progress. Congrats to Obama and team for making this happen. Let us burn the Taliban out first. Taliban's death will pave the way for capturing Al Qaeda leaders.

    March 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Quin

    For Daniel: It was the Taliban that destroyed the vibrant culture of the tribes in that area. With their ouster it may be possible for those people to reclaim their traditions. Kudos to the Pakistani Army. Better late than never!

    March 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  44. g.r.r.

    For 7 years, W and the neo-cons allowed Pakistan to harbor Taliban and AQ. There is little doubt that it was done with the pakistani gov's help. The question is, what will Obama/Dems do?

    I think that it is great that we doing the drones, but at some point, we need to destroy ALL of the hideouts. More importantly, it needs to occur in one quick blink. That way, they have no where to run.
    The question is, will he have the backbone to do what is right, or will he be a coward like W?

    March 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Tidus

    It's not dirty money to have to pay Pakistan to do a job they should be doing, I think they are putting on a show to draw us into a bigger fight later on.. beware the backstabber

    March 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  46. me101

    Arming the local militia is not the right policy to get rid of the Taliban. These people themselves are at fine line between being part of the local militia or Taliban. They can easily turn back on the army or support the Taliban when or if they do come back. Why? Mainly because cleaning away the Taliban from the place is just the first step but no one takes the next step which will bring an actual change in the living conditions of these people. The problem in this part of the world is that people do not have much to do and top of that they are uneducated which is a deadly combination to mess ones head. The frustration is so high that picking arms and fighting for any cause is easy. They will be saying to themselves whatever is there after this life must be better than this at least!

    The solution or part of the solution is to provide economic prosperity to these people. Children should have relatively OK schools along with local people having an adequate job to occupy them. Further, a sense of striving for a better life should be put in to their minds. However, this is only possible if we think in humane terms and above our interests.

    March 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Terr24015

    I agree with Robert. This is great news that these tunnels are now closed down. And also a tribute to President Obama's diplomatic efforts in Pakistan. Bullying never works. I hope we're now starting to learn that.
    And agree with Zaki Qamar too, none of this should have happened in the first place. The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered greatly from our poor policies of the past. The Taliban and Osama bin Laden and his bands of criminals never should have been given the ground to fester in.

    March 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Zaki Qamar

    Pakistan has always helped finish the elements endangering its own self. Talibans are a byproduct of US war against USSR. Yes, Pakistan has gotten funding to eliminate these extremists but it is not Pakistan's fault if the US never took full interest to eliminate Talibans after the soviet war. They just were left un-attended and Washington started celebrated without completing the job.

    Poor people die everyday in Afghanistan but we never hear news on that. Media only wants to show the accomplishment when there is a extremist apprehended or killed. I would like to view the news on innocent people that get killed during our effort to eliminate these threats.So that we can praise the efforts of all involved more and our kids should know the sacrifices people made to eliminate the threat that we created ourselves.

    Thank you and God Bless.

    March 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Robert

    Good for the Pakastanis. Their cooperation and effectives has increased ten-fold since the Obama adminisration has stared working with them and giving them support, a definite plus for US – Pakistani relations.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Zulfiqar Ali

    Kudos to the Pakistanis for kicking the Taliban out from the midst of their population. I believe the international community should help Pakistan, rebuild those areas where the Pakistani military operations were conducted so that the local population can be brought back to the normal life.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  51. 2111

    Those people were caught on Pakistani soil, allegedly committing crime Pakistan; they should be interrogated and prosecuted in Pakistan.

    ISI, like CIA, works to protect interest of Pakistan against all enemies and is not involved in terrorist activities as being widely speculated. Such baseless allegations not only discredits Pakistan’s war on terror efforts but also makes US and International community look stupid when they ask Pakistan for help if they believe Pakistan is supporting their enemies.

    The fact remains that ISI has captured or killed more members of Al-Qaeda and Taliban than CIA, MI6 and other intelligence services combined together.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Daniel

    I guess that the thugs in Washington D.C. must be elated by now upon hearing about this "victory". I,on the other hand,felt quite anauseated over it.I suppose we're going to hear a lot of sickening bravado for days to come.I find it saddening to see Miiddle Eastern culture dying out and being replaced by the capitalist culture of the West.I guess that while the Pakistanis will continue to chant "Allah Akbar",soon they will be chanting "Allah Akbar,but Capitalism Akbar-er".Another for gain for the West over Islam.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Hesian

    And who says they have not handed people over to the U.S? The U.S. never cared about this issue until now. Get off your high horse.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Lakay

    Osama Bin Laden needs to pay for the 911 or Sep. 11.
    Dead or alive, he should be captured. I believe he's in Pakistan and protected by the ISI.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  55. sickofthebs

    ok good job now how about doing this without U. S giving them all that cold hard cash to what shoukd have been done 10 yrs ago!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  56. vishnu

    And how many of those terrorists were handed over to US or International forces. None..., why? Cause ISI and the Taliban are in bed together and they keep playing these games with our US govt to get money from us. I just hope Pakistan realizes soon that they are playing with fire by harbouring these terrorist losers in their territory.

    March 3, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |