What should the U.S. do about it? David Ignatius writes:
Henry Crumpton, a former CIA officer who was one of the heroes of the agency's campaign to destroy al-Qaeda's haven in Afghanistan in late 2001...served as the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism. He...argues that the United States must take preventive action but that it should do so carefully, through proxies wherever possible. The right model for a Waziristan campaign is the CIA-led operation in Afghanistan, not the U.S. military invasion of Iraq. Teams of CIA officers and Special Forces soldiers are best suited to work with tribal leaders, providing them weapons and money to fight an al-Qaeda network that has implanted itself brutally in Waziristan through the assassination of more than 100 tribal leaders during the past six years. It would be better to conduct such operations jointly with Pakistan, but if the government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf can't or won't cooperate, the United States should be prepared to go it alone, Crumpton argues.
"The United States has an obligation to defend itself and its citizens," says Crumpton. "We either do it now, or we do it after the next attack."