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Pakistan: “It never pays killing civilians”

There is a cause and effect in destabilized Pakistan that nobody in the US seems to understand, argues Ivan Eland, a defense analyst at the Independent Institute.

“The [bombings] do not have that much effect on Obama’s decision, but he is probably going to increase the troops – it is just a question of how much, but even 41,000 is not enough,” said Eland. “During the Vietnam War, we had over 530,000 troops versus 100,000 North Vietnamese Vietkong. So you need that kind of ratio in counterinsurgency warfare.”

“There is a difference between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban,” Eland explained. “The Taliban usually hits military targets, unlike Al Qaeda in Iraq… It does not usually go very well if it just starts randomly killing civilians…. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has not focused on that and has lost a lot of support and the same may happen in Pakistan if the Taliban starts blowing up markets. In military terms it never pays killing civilians.”

“It will cause the Pakistani population to support the army more and go after these people [that blow up markets with women and children].”