By Ashley Bommer
The Washington Post
Monday, February 18, 2008; Page A17
The United States has counterterrorism operations in places all over the world — but not in Pakistan, the center of world terrorism. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an offer: “We remain ready, willing and able to assist the Pakistanis and to partner with them, to provide additional training, to conduct joint operations, should they desire to do so.” Within hours, fearing a backlash on Pakistani soil, President Pervez Musharraf rejected the American offer.
But there is another counterterrorism strategy option for Pakistan: Empower millions of oppressed people who live there to be native allies against the insurgents, through the establishment of a Global Tribal Fund.
We cannot win the war on terrorism when we are losing the border to insurgents. The heart of the Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgency is in Balochistan, the Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal belt along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, known as the Durand Line. Top al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists — Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Omar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — are believed to be operating from there….