Pakistan Loses Ground on Terror

Musharraf's troubles delays new strategy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2007 1:19 PM CDT
Anti-Musharraf lawmakers in Pakistan North West Frontier Province shout "Go Musharraf Go" slogans during the provincial assembly session in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007. Pakistan President...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.”