US can`t seal Af-Pak border: Pentagon

Acknowledging that terrorist have a safe haven inside the tribal areas of Pakistan from where they operate and cross over to Afghanistan, a top Pentagon official said that it would be a tough job to seal the Af-Pak border.

Washington: Acknowledging that terrorist
have a safe haven inside the tribal areas of Pakistan from
where they operate and cross over to Afghanistan, a top
Pentagon official today said that it would be a tough job to
seal the Af-Pak border.

"As far as the border itself, I think it`s naive to
say that we can stop, you know, forces coming through the
border," said Col Viet Luong Commander, Task Force Rakkasan
and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

"In order to secure the border, as well -- as you
know, it takes a lot. It takes effort on the other side, by
the Pakistanis," said Luong, who is responsible for eastern
Afghanistan which includes the volatile Khost province and
261 km of Af-Pak border.

In a special video conferencing with Pentagon
reporters from Kabul, he said, "as our footprint is expanded
along the security line of effort, it`s harder and harder for
these guys to come and bed down in these villages."

"To secure the border in the traditional sense, if
you`re talking about, you know, like what we would do along
our own border with Mexico down in the southwestern United
States, that`s not what we`re doing. It takes an inordinate
amount of resources and force to be able to do that," he said
in response to a question.

"You can look at this as a defence in depth, whereby
you have your front line defenders, which are -- which really
starts on the Pakistani side of the house, by the way. They
have hundreds of border checkpoints across backed up by dozens
of checkpoints on our side that`s manned by Afghan border
police, and then we back those guys up with US and ANA forces,
really to hand over the border piece to the Afghan border
police," he observed.

"You can get more effects by defending in depth than
you are in line. So we pick and choose where -- the best
places that we can defend the border, and then be able to
target those guys where they feel safe in. I think that`s been
the key to our success," he said.

PTI

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