Over the last year, as Iran, Iraq and Lebanon have dominated headlines, hopes of gaining firmer control of a largely forgotten corner of the war on terrorism — the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border region — have quietly evaporated.
On Tuesday, the Pakistani government signed a "truce" with militants which lets militants remain in the area as long as they promised to halt attacks.
Is this the "separate peace" that Rumsfeld was talking about? He must be furious about this, right?
The Taliban leadership is believed to have established a base of operations in and around the Pakistani city of Quetta. The Pakistani government sees the group as a tool to counter growing Indian influence in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, roadside bomb attacks have doubled this year, and suicide bombings have tripled.
This year, the United States cut its aid to Afghanistan by 30 percent.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban are no doubt betting that time is on their side.
Al Qaeda Finds Its Center of Gravity