US-Afghan-Pakistan military center opens on volatile border

US, Afghan and Pakistani officers opened the first of six joint military intelligence centers along the Afghan-Pakistan border, an effort to cut down on militants' movement in a region of rising terrorist activity. The centers represent the latest step in American efforts to get Afghanistan and Pakistan to coordinate in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida. The countries have a history of rocky relations, though ties have recently grown warmer. The military centers, to be staffed by about 20 personnel from the three countries, also will allow Afghan and Pakistani officials to use America's intelligence-gathering might. The officers can watch live video feeds from US spy planes in the centers - real-time information that can be relayed back to ground forces on both sides. Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan, told about 100 military personnel from the three countries at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday at a small border outpost that they were taking "a giant step forward in cooperation, communication and coordination."