The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan insurgency seriously challenged the Pakistani government’s writ of state in FATA from 2004 to 2008. However, by 2017, the insurgency collapsed. This paper argues that Pakistan’s counterinsurgency campaign after 2009 caused the decline of the Taliban insurgency by targeting the TTP through a true counterinsurgency operation, rather than the conventional warfare tactics used earlier. This counterinsurgency shift involved a more judicious use of force, rather than simply more force, and deployed both enemy-centric and population-centric approaches, but with a marked emphasis on the former over the latter.

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