Pervez Musharraf’s efforts to keep Pakistan's presidency are increasingly distracting its military from devising new strategies for its fight with the Taliban and al-Qaeda—a fight it is losing. As casualties mount, the military is retreating from battles with better-armed insurgent forces, which have taken over Pakistan’s tribal regions and improved their capabilities to strike the West, the Washington Post reports.
Pakistan’s peace deal with al-Qaeda, which drew widespread criticism, has broken down. Osama bin Laden recently declared war, but the army seems disinterested—in August, 250 soldiers surrendered to a much smaller Taliban squad without a shot being fired. Pakistani forces aren’t trained for counterinsurgency, said one official. “It's not their number one priority. It's not even their number two priority.”