WASHINGTON — American troops are focusing on fighting Taliban militants and defending vulnerable towns on Afghan soil, as it has become practically impossible to stop insurgents from slipping across Afghanistan's vast border with Pakistan, a senior US military commander said.
"To secure the border in the traditional sense" would "take an inordinate amount of resources," US Army Col. Viet Luong acknowledged Tuesday. It also would require far more cooperation from the tribes inside Pakistan who often provide Taliban fighters safe passage, he said.
Other senior US military officials have said they hope the Pakistani military does more to shut down Taliban hideouts. But the US has denied reports that American forces are pushing to expand special operations raids inside Pakistan's tribal areas to target militants.
Luong said he is choosing to fight insurgents outside Afghan villages where they are more vulnerable anyway.