Night Watch

Thailand: Update. The National Council for Peace and Order government lifted the curfew in 20 provinces in order to promote tourism. They included tourist spots in southern Thailand, which the government said were peaceful. The curfew remains in effect in 50 other provinces.

Comment: This is the first significant relaxation of the general restrictions on population movement under the military regime. Economic revival is one of the objectives of the coup, after security. Easing of some restrictions does not signify an early end to martial law. General Prayuth is tutoring the political elites with behavior modification techniques.

Pakistan: Update. On 10 June, four or five gunmen attacked a security training facility near Karachi international airport. A gunfight broke out at a checkpoint at the Airport Security Force (ASF) academy, located 500 yards from the main airport complex, according to a camp spokesman. The attackers fled on motorcycles as a heavy contingent of security forces reached the academy, according to Pakistani news reports.

No casualties were reported.

Comment: Today's gunfight seems like a back-handed tribute to the ASF, some of whose personnel died fighting the terrorists on Sunday.

One implication of today's gunfight is that the Pakistani Taliban are in Karachi in some strength and they are bold. Karachi has a large Pashtun population that obviously supports and protects anti-government cells.

The Sindh provincial and the Karachi city governments know that they have little control and less welcome in the Pashtun neighborhoods in and near Karachi. They have little choice but to tolerate some levels of violence and crime

The attacks this week, however, threaten Pakistan's economic attractiveness and prospects. A crackdown will occur, but Karachi is beyond the control of any government. Moreover, the Pakistani Taliban problem has its roots in the tribal areas of the northwest.

The security forces probably will capture some of the people who aided and abetted the latest attacks, but the anti-government cell will survive, if not thrive. The crackdown will be a police crackdown in Karachi.

Night Watch

NightWatch is an internationally acclaimed nightly newsletter that tracks and assesses threats to US national security. It has an edgy, executive style unlike any other summary of its kind.

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