My Open Letter To The President....
Ospreys Over Egypt

The tribal areas of Pakistan

Pakistan is a patchwork of many different tribes but when people speak about the tribal areas they usually refer to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Pashtun tribes who inhabit the border region with Afghanistan. The Pashtuns also make up the bulk of the population in the neighboring Northwest Frontier Province as well. The video below takes a look at the FATA and the impact they have had on our efforts in Afghanistan. The border splits the collection of Pashtun tribes although they don't recognize it. As we have pushed the Taliban and al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, many found refuge and safe havens in the tribal areas of Waziristan and other parts of this region. The Pakistani government fought after we invaded to stop the growth of the extremist elements there, but eventually gave up and signed several treaties ceding effective control of them. This was a major factor in the resurgence of the Taliban in Pakistan and then in Afghanistan as they recruited, trained and then went back across the border. There are many voices saying that we took our eyes off of Afghanistan by invading Iraq. The truth is that Afghanistan was not overly violent until 2006/7 as these refreshed Talibs redoubled their efforts. We didn't make nearly as much progress building national institutions there as we would have liked, but we were not facing anywhere near the Taliban presence until recently.