Stanley Kurtz on Waziristan’s Tribes of Terror

This article (link via title) is a little outside Korrektiv’s usual provenance, but since we seem to be getting a little more political these days I thought I’d link to this excellent article by that indefatigable polymath, Stanley Kurtz, from the Claremont Review of Books. It concerns Islam and terrorism generally, and the now extremely problematic state of Pakistan. Here’s the introduction:

Lord Curzon, Britain’s viceroy of India and foreign secretary during the initial decades of the 20th century, once declared:

No patchwork scheme—and all our present recent schemes…are mere patchwork—will settle the Waziristan problem. Not until the military steam-roller has passed over the country from end to end, will there be peace. But I do not want to be the person to start that machine.

Nowadays, this region of what is today northwest Pakistan is variously called “Al Qaedastan,” “Talibanistan,” or more properly, the “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.” Pakistan gave up South Waziristan to the Taliban in Spring 2006, after taking heavy casualties in a failed four-year campaign to consolidate control of this fierce tribal region. By the fall, Pakistan had effectively abandoned North Waziristan. The nominal truce—actually closer to a surrender—was signed in a soccer stadium, beneath al-Qaeda’s black flag. When Lord Curzon hesitated to start up the British military machine, he was revolving in his mind the costs and consequences of the great 1857 Indian “Mutiny” and of an 1894 jihadist revolt in South Waziristan. Surely, Curzon would have appreciated our dilemma today.

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