The Thirty Years War

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If you haven’t already read Dexter Filkins’ NYT feature on the Pakistani tribal areas (via Small Wars Journal), do so now, before the “Invade Pakistan” chorus swells. As Filkins’ reporting makes clear, there are multiple layers to the power struggle going on there, and the complexities of the competing rivalries make the debate Stateside seem simplistic at best. Within the Pakistani leadership there’s a civilian-military split, and within the military there’s an ISI/fundamentalist faction that’s not necessarily integrated into the chain of command. Within the tribal areas, there’s a Taliban-traditionalist split that includes both homegrown rivalries as well as foreign […]

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