Bill Roggio, who has earned deserved respect up to the highest levels of the US military for his coverage of the war from on the scene and from home, writes:
I hope all is well. My apologies in advance for a long email, I believe this is important and requires some explanation.
The media is getting the story of the fighting in Waziristan 100% wrong. The Pakistani government is claiming the fighting is between local tribes and Uzbek al Qaeda. Musharraf has a vested interest in doing so - it wants to promote the Waziristan Accord as a success that can be used elsewhere. The media very rarely looks at what Musharraf says critically.
The real truth is: The fighting began after Uzbeks killed an Arab al Qaeda fighter supported by the Taliban. This is essentially an internal conflict - like a mafia war. Think the Godfather. To settle the conflict, the Taliban sent in senior commanders, including Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Dadullah Akhund, military leader of the Afghan Taliban, to negotiate a truce between the factions. Digest that for a second, and you'll see who runs the show in Waziristan. And that this so-called 'pro-government tribe' is really just a Taliban group that is angry over the murder of one of their Al Qaeda patrons. I've written on this here.
There are significant implications here for NATO's Afghan operation, and indeed for the future course of the global war. Musharraf's phony accord has handed Osama and his Taliban allies a base comparable to pre-2001 Afghanistan. One they've been busy consolidiating; there are reports that America has no human intelligence left in those sanctuaries. Sanctuaries protected by the nuclear weapons Pakistan was unwisely allowed to obtain - and with the potential for future access to those weapons as al Qaeda and the Taliban further consolidate their strength within Pakistan.