With reports swirling around the death of Qari Tahir Yaldashev, leader of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Octopus Mountain can't help feeling a little skeptical. Yaldashev's death doesn't concern us, it's who he followed and who will follow him that catches our interest. Yaldashev replaced the "irreplaceable" Juma Namangani in 2001. Now the "irreplaceable" Yaldashev has allegedly been replaced by Usman Jan.
Only time will tell if America's drone invasion of 2008 and 2009 will produce tangible long-term effects, but insurgencies historically replace their leaders. Baitullah Meshud and Yaldashev's deaths haven't diminished Pakistan's need for a Waziristan operation.