August 09, 2009

Schmidle on Mehsud

Nick Schmidle -- one of my favorite commentors on Pakistan -- warns us to not get overly excited about the assassination of Baitullah Mehsud and, to my mind, gets his conclusion exactly right:

Now the hard part begins. Since the CIA has demonstrated its ability to pinpoint "high-level targets," it will want to go after other top Taliban leaders in Pakistan, such as Maulvi Nazir in South Waziristan and Jalaluddin Haqqani in North Waziristan. But Pakistan's military and security establishment perceives both men, who focus their fighting in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan, as national security assets more than threats. And there's no magic drone strike to fix that.