To the rest of the world it is sold as a "truce", one in which Osama bin Laden is free to move around, as long as he "is being like a peaceful citizen.", despite Islamabads fervent denials. But Bill Roggio observes something very much walking and quacking like abject capitulation:
We raised the alarm early morning on September 4, and newly uncovered information on the terms of the agreement indicate Pakistan has been roundly defeated by the Taliban in North Waziristan. The “truce” is in fact a surrender. According to an anonymous intelligence source, the terms of the truce includes:Read also the rest, in which Roggio argues that the distinction between Taliban, Al Qaeda and all those other jihadi organisations is merely theoretical.- The Pakistani Army is abandoning its garrisons in North and South Waziristan.
- The Pakistani Military will not operate in North Waziristan, nor will it monitor actions the region.
- Pakistan will turn over weapons and other equipment seized during Pakistani Army operations.
- The Taliban and al-Qaeda have set up a Mujahideen Shura (or council) to administer the agency.
- The truce refers to the region as “The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.”
- An unknown quantity of money was transferred from Pakistani government coffers to the Taliban. The Pakistani government has essentially paid a tribute or ransom to end the fighting.
- “Foreigners” (a euphemism for al-Qaeda and other foreign jihadis) are allowed to remain in the region.
- Over 130 mid-level al-Qaeda commanders and foot soldiers were released from Pakistani custody.
- The Taliban is required to refrain from violence in Pakistan only; the agreement does not stipulate refraining from violence in Afghanistan.
This means a couple of things. The first one is the free haven base the Taleban now have to retreat to after a hard days harassing the NATO Regional Reconstruction Teams in south Afghanistan, train and recruit fresh troops. Unless NATO decides to do something about Waziristan I think we just witnessed the failure of ISAF 3.
Second thing is that unlike the rebel rousers in Gaza, Al Qaeda and the Taleban now do have a realistic and possibly viable start their long sought after Caliphate. That fact alone will ensure a steady stream of fresh recruits to throw against NATO in Afghanistan.
In light of the Owen Johnsons analysis I am hoping that this is a political maneuver to keep Musharraf out of the Islamist wind, while delineating Pakistani regular forces from Taleban and Al Qaeda forces in preparation of a NATO smackdown. But still, it's kinda worrying. And either way, I think it's about time to ditch Pakistan as an ally. They're like the France of Near Asia.