Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hitting Them Where it Hurts

If this attack on a Pakistani base is the responsibility of the Taliban or other jihadis, it hits Pakistan where it really hurts:

Gunmen attacked Pakistan's naval aviation base on Sunday, starting fires, setting off explosions and fighting pitched gunbattles inside one of the country's most heavily guarded military installations. ...

Another spokesman said that one P-3C Orion, a maritime partrol aircraft, had been destroyed. "The attackers are still inside and intermittent firing is continuing."

Note that the base houses naval aviation. These are assets aimed at India--not at the Taliban.

This appears to be a message that the India-centric Pakistani military and government are meant to really listen to.

UPDATE: Pakistani forces have wiped out the attackers. But the headline of the article is just bone-headed:

"Pakistan retakes naval base after just six militants lay seige"

No, the Pakistanis did not "retake" the base. That implies the enemy took the base. Which itself is contradicted by the end of the headline which says the enemy "lay seige" to the base--which means isolating it and attacking or otherwised trying to pressure the defenders into surrendering.

The enemy neither lay seige to the base nor captured it. The enemy penetrated the base and held out on a suicide mission until the Pakistanis re-secured the base. No wonder reporters can describe the enemy has "resurgent." Just making suicidal attacks with no hope of victory is enough to be declared "winning."

Yes, there was some sloppy security to allow the attackers to penetrate the perimeter of this base. But that's a far cry from saying the enemy is capable of defeating the Pakistani military.