What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Factions, drama, suspense - Now among the insurgents, too

I wrote this back in December last year, with the title "Some basic theorising of Pakistan's security sector."
By the way, I happen to be included in the blogroll on the left of the Small Wars Journal's blog with a link that for some reason still points to that very post from me, and not to the main page at my site. Even if this is a prestigious position for it, I always wondered if that single post really merited special attention (relative to my other blogposts). Not that I would have doubted the basics of what I wrote there. Developments on the ground always seem to offer some proof regarding the assumption of a fragmented Pakistani security sector affected by partly real, partly stage-managed, factional infighting.
Now Afrasiab Khattak, the head of the Awami National Party in the Northwestern Frontier Province says specifically this about the Pakistan(s) out there and the West's policy towards it - in Barnett Rubin's summary:

" one part of the "government of Pakistan" is at war with groups created by another part of the "government of Pakistan." A policy toward "Pakistan" cannot address this problem. "

Khattak talks among others of Mangal Bagh, the bus driver turned leader of Lashkar-i-Islam, as a creation of ISI. Lashkar-i-Islam happens to be the militia against which Pakistani security operations have supposedly taken place in the Khaiber Agency recently. Haji Namdar, whom Syed Saleem Shahzad mentions as someone working for the U.S. nowadays, is claimed by this NYT article to be part of Mangal Bagh's organisation, at the lead of an Uzbek and Arab hardcore of fighters. Fighters who were supposedly crucial in turning on the heat in an otherwise predominantly non-Salafi, instead Barelvi/Sufi, agency of the FATA. Where a few months ago local tribal leaders were blown up by a suicide bomber at a jirga sponsored indirectly by the U.S., and where thereafter, with the local elite under the effect of terror, John Negroponte himself went in vain to gather support for the defence of ISAF supply lines.
Finishing here, just do remember that there are actually three, as opposed to just two, factions to consider within Pakistan's security sector, according to my take from back in December. Now the insurgents seem to have their factions, too, re-enacting the faction drama, staving off more decisive moves against the FATA for now as a result.

No comments: