Pakistan Army artillery pieces in use during operations in South Waziristan (Photo available at pakistanarmy

November 18, 2009

The War in Waziristan: Operation Rah-e-Nijat - Phase 1 Analysis

Pakistan Army artillery pieces in use during operations in South Waziristan (Photo available at

The Critical Threats team has prepared a briefing analyzing the ongoing ground operation in Waziristan following the conclusion of its first phase and the end of major combat operations.

The briefing looks at the timeline of events leading to the operation, the Pakistani force breakdown, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) structure and key players, the role of other players, the details of the fight on each of the three fronts on a week-by-week basis, an analysis of the factors contributing to the military's quick progress, a breakdown of the thee main phases of the operation, a look at recent militant attacks conducted outside the theater of operations and polling data analyzing Pakistani public opinion regarding militancy and the military operation one month after its commencement.

Click here for day-to-day coverage of the ongoing ground operation in Waziristan.

Please find our key conclusions and the link to the full presentation below.


Key Conclusions


  • Pakistan has occupied the TTP’s territory in South Waziristan through a methodical advance that adopted lessons from previous operations in the NWFP and FATA and denied propaganda victories to the enemy.


  • TTP resistance, while initially relatively strong, melted away under the military’s advance, partially because the TTP did not adapt to the military’s new, successful tactics.


  • The TTP and its allies have been more successful in conducting terror attacks across Pakistan than in resisting the advance in Waziristan, although attacks outside NWFP and FATA and attacks directly targeting civilians have decreased in recent days.


  • The Pakistani public strongly supports the operation in Waziristan; support for strong action against the extremists in Pakistan spiked after increased militant activity in Swat, Buner, and neighboring areas in the NWFP in spring 2009.


  • After the Pakistani forces have finished clearing the territory in Waziristan, the hold and build phases will begin, the outcome of which will determine the long-term success of Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Deliverance). The Pakistani military plans to use the winter for its reconstruction phase, after which it plans to repatriate the Mehsuds into South Waziristan and withdraw from the conflict zone.


To access the video webcast of the event, please click HERE


Please download the full presentation below.