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No, the Pakistani Taliban aren't finished off. But it's the time to do it.
By Michael Fumento
There is talk that the reported death of Hakimullah Mehsud, courtesy of a drone-fired Hellfire missile, may prove devastating to the Taliban in Pakistan. That's especially so in combination with low public opinion of the group, successful Pakistani army attacks in South Waziristan, and the killing of Mehsud's predecessor courtesy of another one of those fine Hellfires.
"If he's gone, it's a fatal blow," said Imtiaz Gul, director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. "At one point, the Taliban had a lot of momentum and a charismatic leader. Now they've been uprooted and lost all credibility."
Yeah, well don't write that obit just yet.
Since my first article written from Afghanistan where I embedded in 2007, I've been saying that the conflict needs to be seen as the Afghan-Pakistan war. Pres. Obama, to his credit, clearly sees it that way. But the massive Pakistani army, one of the largest in the world, continues to allow the Taliban to have a base of operations in North Waziristan.
It's an old cliche but a fitting one, that if you leave part of a cancerous tumor it will eventually grow back to its original size. The Pakistanis claim to be exhausted from their struggle in the south. Tough. They owe us big time for all the aid we've given them and continue to give them, for having supported the Taliban in the first place, and even for giving nuclear technology to rogue nations like North Korea.
Obama needs to crack the whip and get the Pakistanis to root out the roaches from their last nest.
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