Defense News quotes South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Claude Rakisits on the importance of swiftly implementing governance plans and providing assistance to civilians as a means of preserving military gains against the Taliban in Pakistan:

Under these circumstances Claude Rakisits, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, says Sharif’s concern is unsurprising.

“It is a well-known fact in the counterterrorism business that, unless civilian administrators immediately implement governance plans, such as rebuilding destroyed schools, hospitals and other social services at the end of a military operation, all the hard-won gains made by the military can very quickly disappear,” he said.

Adding, “While it is very important to diminish the terrorist and insurgence threat by degrading the fighters’ military capability, it is probably just as important, if not more, to deal with the civilian population which has to return to those areas which have been devastated by the fighting.

“Accordingly, the basic societal needs of the general population, which has been fundamentally traumatized, displaced and probably physically hurt, must be met quickly, effectively and with compassion. Not to do so would lead to an already dissatisfied population possibly longing for the days before the military operations.”

But in this realm, the military has little influence, Rakisits said. 

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