July 10, 2009

Meet Baitullah Mehsud

Foreign Policy has an interesting profile of Baitullah Mehsud up.  He's clearly a prime candidate to receive a visit from a Predator drone.  But when I read this article, I can't help but remember our earlier preoccupation with taking down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  We expended a lot of time and resources to get him, but it didn't seem to prevent AQI from escalating its attacks through the second half of 2006.  Would knocking off Mehsud cripple the Pakistani Taliban?  It couldn't hurt, but we should probably not expect too much impact from the killing of any single bad guy or make his elimination a centerpiece of U.S.-Pakistani counter-Taliban strategy.