War Reports | June 3, 2009

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Pakistan The government has driven Taliban forces out of Mingora, the capital of the Swat region, and is claiming victory and mopping up in the Swat valley after a battle against the Taliban rebels that drove more than a million people from their homes. Taliban extremism and violence in the Swat valley had cost them much public sympathy. Now the focus is shifting to Waziristan. BBC cites a continuing pattern of army vs. Taliban campaigns and warns that making war in Waziristan may be counterproductive, and that even the war in Swat may have increased the number of Taliban recruits:

The fighting often ends up leaving a largely aggravated population at the mercy of those from whom they were being rescued.

This in turn can create resentment against the government – if only a handful out of the 2.5 million people forced to leave Swat in the most recent fighting end up joining the Taliban, the militants would still receive hundreds of new recruits into their ranks.

For many people in the war-hit north-west there is increasingly only one choice, join the Taliban or leave their ancestral lands.

I’m a news junkie, and I read news reports from dozens of sources every day. News Day is my blog, and in it, I summarize, link to, and comment on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to Minnesota news.
– Mary Turck