The end of the world would be the Himalayan nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and perhaps India and Bangladesh.
The US is planning to train and supply paramilitary forces in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Frontier Corps, in order to better counter the growing Al Qaeda insurgency in Pakistan.
It also marks a shift in favor of a locally recruited paramilitary force that many have considered unreliable because it is drawn from Pashtun tribes sympathetic to the Taliban.
“We believe that, particularly in this part of Pakistan, it is more effective to work with a force raised from locals than it is to work with the Pak army,” Morrell said.
The Pentagon says that the New York Times story of plans for alliances with Pashtun tribal leaders was based on preliminary planning and that nothing concrete along those lines was underway. The training plans for Pakistan’s Frontier Corps were confirmed as already being underway.
In related news, the US State Department is stressing that the US values its relationship with the nation of Pakistan, not with Musharraf or any other leader. In other words, he isn’t the only horse at the rodeo.
Musharraf has announced elections for January 8, 2008 amid protests. The newly packed Pakistani Supreme Court has dismissed the legal challenges to Musharraf’s re-election.
And on the absurd side of the news, no matter how hot the firefight, German medical helicopter troops insist on stopping all fights against the Taliban every day at 4 o’clock tea time so they can be grounded by sundown. It appears that the descendants of the fierce Goths, Visigoths and Teutonic Knights are afraid of fighting in the dark. Numerous jeering comments here.