On November 2 a suicide truck bomb detonated in South Waziristan killing 8 members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, a group that Islamabad sponsors to fight what it considers “bad” Taliban (as distinct from “good” Taliban who are pro-Islamabad and somewhat more controllable by the ISI). The idea of the Frontier Corps has evolved from simply being a way for Islamabad to organize and account for the militant tribes in the region to now being something more like the Awakening Councils were in Iraq.
This development has been publicized to a certain degree and is deinitely at least in part a result of General Petraus taking over as the CENTCOM commander, as he was in charge of harnessing the Awakening Council initiative with great success in Iraq. The participation of the tribesmen in South Waziristan is in no way guaranteed, however, and that is what is interesting about a large truck bomb targeting one of the Frontier Corps bases: It consolidates the participating tribes’ efforts and will galvanize them against the perpetrating group, the Pakistani Taliban.
Bombings are nothing new in Pakistan, but bombings from the Taliban (and likely AQ-related individuals at that) targeting the Frontier Corps and not the Pakistani or American military is new and may drive the Frontier Corps into the arms of the American, Pakistani and perhaps eventually even Afghan government and further away from being a detached spectator looking to pick a side to support at a later date when a victor is more clearly identifiable.