Pakistan pushes into Orakzai tribal area


Pakistani security forces backed by tanks and artillery attacked Taliban positions in the northwest of the country, killing 22 militants, a senior police official on Monday.


Fighting erupted on Sunday night after an assault on militants in the village of Shahukhel, which borders the Taliban stronghold of Orakzai tribal region.

"There has been fierce fighting throughout the night. Militants fired rocket propelled grenades while troops responded with artillery and tank fire," local police official Fareed Khattak told Reuters.

"We have a figure of 22 militants dead and 14 arrested."


Khattak said forces had entered the lawless Orakzai region where many Taliban insurgents had fled. "Now helicopter gunships are striking Taliban hideouts in the agency," he said.

A Taliban spokesman in Orakzai, Zia-ur-Rehman, said both sides suffered heavy casualties in the clashes.


The Pakistan army has the Taliban in a mismatch in this battle. The Taliban are a poorly trained light infantry trying to counter tanks and artillery with RPGs. That is a fight the Pakistan army should win every time. In fact, it was a big mistake for the Taliban to even give battle in this particular fight.

Insurgency warfare strategy would dictate that the Taliban should retreat and try to fight under more favorable circumstances. It could be that the army has put the Taliban in a position where they cannot retreat, but the article does not give enough detail to determine that.

The Pakistan army is demonstrating the effectiveness of having a high force to space ratio in this current campaign. Obama should take notice and provide the US with additional forces to defeat the enemy in Afghanistan.


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