November 17, 2009:
With Winter arriving, the fleeing Taliban in the tribal territories are in a desperate situation. You can find caves and remote villages to hide in, but the army has a big advantage in terms of living conditions and mobility. The Taliban infrastructure throughout the tribal territories is being taken apart, and this will set the Taliban back big time. The Taliban will not be destroyed, because the thinking behind the Taliban has always existed among a minority of the tribesmen in these hills. But as a large, organized Islamic radical organization, the Pakistani Taliban are rapidly fading away. In response to that, the Taliban are trying to deny responsibility for bombings that cause the most civilians casualties. These the Taliban blame on the ISI, who is trying to muster more public anger against the Taliban.
In Pakistani South Waziristan, many troops are engaged in carefully searching Taliban camps and housing. Weapons and other items have been hidden in these places. Underground bunkers, sometimes hidden, were used to store weapons and ammo. The large quantity of weapons and ammo seized means the Taliban are going to suffer shortages for quite a while, until they can find smugglers willing to deliver weapons to the area.
In the tribal territories, the Taliban seek to stay hidden, and come out at night to plant anti-vehicle mines on the roads used by the Pakistani security forces. Taliban will sometimes hide near where a mine is buried, and attack a military vehicle that gets blown up. These mines make it dangerous for civilian traffic, and some of these mines won't be discovered until a civilian vehicle hits it. For this reason, the Taliban sometimes use command (by radio or wire) controlled bombs buried in the road. These are trickier to use, as the explosives must be detonated when the vehicle is over the bomb.
In the last week or, most security forces losses in the tribal territories have come from mines in the road, or terrorist bombings at checkpoints or in towns and cities. Most Taliban losses come from air and artillery attacks. Small groups of Taliban try to inflict casualties by firing rockets or mortar shells at military camps or police stations, but these efforts usually only result in damage to civilian structures, and civilian casualties. That, in turn, makes civilians more likely to provide information to the police on Taliban activity.
Indian police continue to skirmish with Maoist rebels in eastern India. There, the Maoists also continue to fight local communist politicians, who agree with the Maoists on many things, but bitterly oppose Maoists running things. Meanwhile, the Indian government has undertaken a major military/political offensive against the Maoists. This consists of using superior numbers of troops to drive the Maoists out of towns and villages, and into the bush. Then the government tries to re-establish itself and institute economic programs to reduce unemployment and poverty. The big problem with this is that the same corrupt officials who cause these problems in the first place, are now set to work trying to fix them.
Police and troops continue to hunt, and find, Islamic terrorists in Indian Kashmir. There are more clashes, and fewer terror attacks, because more Kashmiri Moslems are providing information on terrorist activity. That cooperation has been hurt by a ban, since the beginning of the month, on prepaid cell phones. These anonymous phones are a favorite with Islamic terrorists, and also with poor Kashmiris who cannot afford a cell phone contract. The Indians have to decide which is doing them more damage (angry civilians or terrorists with cell phones).
November 16, 2009: For the third time this month, Taliban terrorists destroyed a girls school near the Khyber Pass. This angers most of the local tribesmen, but the Taliban don't care. They are on a Mission From God, and God tells them to keep the girls ignorant.
November 15, 2009: In Pakistan's tribal territories, a group of fifty Taliban gunmen attacked the home of an anti-Taliban tribal leader outside the city of Peshawar. Three of the Taliban were killed and the rest fled when the tribal leaders militiamen promptly opened fire. These anti-Taliban militias are a growing problem for Islamic terrorist groups, as the tribal fighters complement the army and police, leaving the Taliban with few tactical advantages.
November 14, 2009: In Pakistan's tribal territories, a suicide bomb was set off in the largest city (Peshawar), at a police checkpoint, killing 15 and wounding 40. These attacks intimidate the police somewhat, but the cops tend to continue doing their jobs. The biggest casualty is the good-will of the people, who used to support Islamic radicalism, as an alternative to the corrupt politicians. But the growing death toll among civilians, because of Islamic terror attacks, has also killed off any popular support the Islamic extremists once had.
November 13, 2009: In Pakistan's tribal territories, a suicide bomb was set off in the largest city (Peshawar), outside the local ISI (intelligence) headquarters, killing 12 and wounding over 60. For several decades, the ISI has supported Islamic radicals, and were the founders of the Taliban in the early 1990s. But the increasing use of terrorist violence, and civilian casualties, has led to pressure from the government, and bribes from the Americans, to drive out the pro-terrorist ISI operatives. That has gradually succeeded in turning the Taliban and other Islamic groups against their former ISI ally.
November 11, 2009: In Karachi, Pakistan, police arrested seven Taliban members, after a brief gun battle. The seven were planning more terror attacks in Pakistani cities. The police have a lot of public support in pursuing Taliban terrorists outside the tribal territories. In the cities, the general availability of cell phones has been a key device in the police effort to find and arrest terrorists. When someone calls the police, nearby cops or counter-terror operators can quickly be sent to the area.