Those of you not familiar with the area and the operational strategy of the Pakistan army may benefit from this brief operational analysis.
The Pakistan army is conducting Advance-to-Contact operations on three axes:
- East: Jandola-Kotkai-Sararogha axis.
- South-West: Wana-Shakai axis
- North: Razmak-Makeen-Sararogha axis.
The purpose of an Advance-to-Contact operation always is to move into the hostile territory, seek resistance, clear it, and then consolidate cleared ground. All these actions are meant to enable the reduction of the ultimate ‘enemy’ position: Sararogha.
The three advancing columns should eventually link up around Sararogha, and, having cleared and consolidated the three major approaches to the area, the final battle will then be fought for the capture of Sararogha, the Taliban strong-point.
At this point, one can say that this is a brilliantly conceived operation and is progressing quite well toward its final tactical objective. Since the troops are establishing posts of captured heights, one could surmise that this operation is aimed wresting control of the area from the TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) and not just a show of force. Once could also assume that the operation will continue as the popular will is in favor of the military action.
What the United States Must Do:
- First of all, start insinuating in the policy statements that the Pakistan Army has undertaken this operation under pressure from the US. This might gain some political points for the current US administration, but will end up eroding the popular support for the Pakistan army.
- It is crucial at this time for the US to provide necessary equipment to the Pakistan army without any strings attached. The Pakistan army could use more of these: helicopter gunships, communication interception equipment, IED detection and clearing equipment.
- Also, massive aid will be needed to provide for the people displaced due to the military operation.
I will continue writing on this. For any further questions, feel free to comment and I will be happy to provide more details.