Heavy hints from Afghan officials show desire for US attacks in Pakistan

Al-Qaida and Taliban leaders operate "outside the country." The war on terror "should know no borders." The international community should address the "root causes of terrorism - wherever they are." Afghan officials weave hints and suggestions, but their meaning is becoming increasingly clear: Afghanistan would be more than happy for US forces to attack Taliban and al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan. After the bloodiest year since the 2001 US-led invasion, some analysts say the US and NATO won't make lasting progress in Afghanistan unless the militants' ability to command and control the insurgency from across the border is tackled. The prospects of an American military deployment inside Pakistan, a key US ally in its war on terror, remain slim, because of the outrage it would trigger from the government of President Pervez Musharraf and the wider public.