The Pakistan army is now conducting an offense in the Swat Valley against Taliban forces. From all indications, the fighting is fierce, thousands of civilians are fleeing for their lives, but there are many unanswered questions. The reality is that a few thousand Pakistan soldiers are fighting in this battle while over two hundred thousand remain on the border with India facing an enemy that does not exist. The Indian army is not going to invade Pakistan, but to the leadership of Pakistan the first priority is to maintain a large armed force on a border to fight against an enemy that is not going to attack. Why? It becomes increasingly clear the Pakistan army is divided with a large segment pleased the Taliban is extending its power. After all, the Pakistan secret service, the ISI, created the Taliban and has continually given it support.
The real question is whether the United States can influence Pakistan’s armed force to take a proactive stance in the fight against the Taliban. Money without strings will not result in a determined Pakistan army willing to fight the Taliban. If they want money, it must be linked to a massive attack on the Taliban. At some point Pakistan’s military must decide if they want an independent Pakistan that is a democracy or a theocracy under the control of the Taliban.