Meanwhile at Camp Torkham in the fabled Khyber Pass, a main official border crossing, the U.S. military is preparing to launch a grand experiment. It has just finished building two huts that will house both Afghan and Pakistani security forces, who have been known to take potshots at each other over border disputes from time to time. One hut is for showers and beds; the other is an intelligence coordination center, where Pakistani units will live and work with Afghan security forces, sharing meals, bunks, and video feeds from Predator drones. "This is a full-Monty deal," says Brig. Gen. Mark Milley, director of operations for eastern Afghanistan. "They will eat together and work together—it's kind of historic."
The U.S. military plans to open six more such border centers by winter. More will need to be done, of course, including stronger action by Pakistan to root out al Qaeda and to constrain Afghan insurgents. Says Milley, "At some point in order for there to be resolution to the insurgency in Afghanistan—and Pakistan for that matter—both sides have got to come to grips with the issue of the border." And so, too, will the next president of the United States.