What if Pakistan attacks the UAE

Can the Taliban be defeated militarily?

A few days ago the International Committee of the Red Cross described northwest Pakistan as a "war zone". Hundreds of thousands are now on the run from the fighting between the Pakistani army and Islamist militants. Particularly in the Bajaur Agency bordering Afghanistan, fierce fighting has been going on since a military offensive began in August. Tens of thousands even fled to Afghanistan from there.

The escalation of violence has a lot to do with the US presidential campaign. In the past few years, the US military had often criticized the Pakistani military for being too indecisive against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the border area with Afghanistan. The region is considered an important refuge for al-Qaida and the Taliban's logistical base for attacks in Afghanistan.

"We will kill him"

Presidential candidate Barack Obama - he wants to bring US troops to Afghanistan

The Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, combines criticism of the government's Iraq policy with a promise to move troops to the actual arena of the war on terror, Afghanistan: "When we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to eliminate him then I think we have to act. And we will eliminate them. We will kill bin Laden and crush Al Qaeda. That must be the first priority for our nation . "

Apparently President George W. Bush found himself under pressure to act after such statements by Obama - or Bush hoped for a spectacular success shortly before the end of his term in office. In any case, the President, for his part, has massively pushed Pakistan into new military offensives in the border area.

Green light for more violence

According to unanimous media reports, contrary to the advice of many Washington experts in the State and Defense Ministries, Bush secretly gave the green light for attacks on Pakistani territory in the summer. Since then, the air strikes, in which mostly unmanned US aircraft, so-called Predator drones, take off from Afghanistan, penetrate into Pakistani territory and attack targets in Pakistan, have increased significantly. US soldiers have crossed the border themselves on several occasions. In doing so, the US has put its allies in Pakistan in an awkward position. Pakistani troops have apparently defended themselves against the border violations felt as humiliation by the Allies in several cases with warning shots.

New strategy is counterproductive

Many experts consider the new US strategy to be counterproductive. Peace researcher Paul Rogers of the University of Bradford in Great Britain says: "I believe that increased US intervention in western Pakistan would in the long run tend to strengthen the Taliban as far as Afghanistan. It would also certainly mean that many in Pakistan enforce even more anti-American views. "

The problem is not only the violation of Pakistani sovereignty; Missing or incorrect information from the secret service means, as in Afghanistan, in the Pakistani tribal areas that the air strikes often hit civilians. And that brings new sympathies to the militants.

Attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad - is the US strategy headed in the wrong direction?

Public opinion in Pakistan is very skeptical. After the spectacular attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September, the newspapers were still full of self-critical tones about Pakistani politics, which were not taking decisive action against militant extremists, but conspiracy theories are now dominating the media again, according to which the Taliban are in reality from abroad would be controlled. The well-known TV presenter Javed Chaudhry explains to his audience on "Express TV": "The fact is that weapons and technology for the war in the tribal areas come from Russia. Russia delivers large quantities of ammunition and explosives to Mazar-e via Iran. Sharif. And from there the explosives come to the Pakistani tribal areas. In Pakistan, non-Muslim commandos who eat dog and cat meat and drink alcohol have been apprehended. "

Other commentators see the hidden hand of the archenemy of India or even the US itself behind the Pakistani Taliban.

And Pakistan sees itself first and foremost as a victim, as the arena for a proxy war similar to that of the Cold War days. American saber-rattling will tend to compound those feelings, however justified they are - that much seems certain.

But maybe a U-turn in US politics is already on the way. While the allies' doubts about whether the war in Afghanistan can be won are growing, the Afghan government is apparently trying to negotiate with the Taliban, and even US Secretary of Defense Gates no longer wants to exclude it. To the extent that a military solution in Afghanistan becomes unlikely, the hard line in the Pakistani tribal areas is likely to be called into question.