In a very well analyzed and thought-provoking article published in a newspaper on May 28, it was argued that the military might is unlikely to prove effective in curbing an insurgency in the long term, something that is accepted by even the US Army & Marine Corpse counterinsurgency field manual. Written under the leadership of General David Petraeus, it stipulates that the 'kill or capture model had not succeeded even during the earlier days in Iraq and was eminently unsuited to Pakistans troubled areas as well. This kind of a strategy tends to create newer enemies while you eliminate older ones. Even the vastly superior US forces had to resort to protecting the population centers in Iraq to improve profile of the US forces stationed there. This view has already been propounded by many noted analysts and think-tanks but it does carry greater weight now that it comes from somebody like General Petraeus who is leader of the Washingtons charge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last month, a somewhat similar viewpoint was expressed publicly by the US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. In a speech at Kansas State University on March 3, 2010, Mr Mullen outlined his views about the best way for application of military force in the present difficult times. Mr Mullen elaborated upon three principles which he said were basis for the 'proper use of modern military force: (a) That the military power should not be the last resort of the state. We can, merely by our presence, help alter certain behavior. (b) That the force should be applied in a precise and principled way and here he cited the sacrifice involved in deployment which necessitated extreme care. The battlefield isnt necessarily a field anymore. Its in the minds of the people said Mr Mullen while citing General McChrystals restriction on night raids as an example of principled action. (c). That policy and strategy should constantly struggle with one another. Given that the current engagements are open-ended, the military strategy must be more constantly engaged with policy. War has never been a set-piece affair. The enemy adapts to your strategy and you adapt to his. Mr Mullen cited the review process which led to the current Afghanistan escalation as a model of engagement between military leaders and policymakers. The reports emanating from Washington indicate that the senior US officials expect from Pakistan to act against the terrorists in Waziristan within two weeks time. That is quite plainly a part of their 'do more policy. Despite Gen Petraeus and Admiral Mike Mullens views, the US still insists upon Pakistan to go for a hasty operation in North Waziristan. But what should, then, one make of General Petraeus suggestion that use of military might is not the solution in the long run? -ESCHMALL SARDAR, Peshawar, May 28.