OFFENSIVES

Pakistan Bombards Taliban

When the Taliban said they would withdraw from Buner, the valley a mere 60 miles from Islamabad, it turns out they were (surprise!) lying. Now, Pakistani armed forces are clearing out some 500 insurgents after having finished an operation in neighboring Lower Dir. The Pentagon is considering rushing hundreds of millions of dollars in funds to Pakistan to help fund counterinsurgency efforts and prevent the nuclear-armed country from falling into chaos. The Pakistani government faced much criticism over its ill-fated attempt at negotiating with the Taliban, which seems to have only emboldened the radicals to expand into other areas. A military spokesman tells The New York Times, “The militants started intimidating people and forcibly recruiting young people to take them back to Swat for military training. The government acted with patience but eventually there was no other way except to launch an operation.”