By creating an ISR curtain, the U.S. will be better positioned to protect ground combat forces and support ongoing operations in Afghanistan. The increased presence of UAVs in the region will also serve to reduce the requirement for large numbers of infantry troops.
The U.S. should move quickly to establish an ISR curtain across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Doing so will provide a new dimension to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and serve as a source of valuable intelligence for Pakistani and Afghan security services well after the allies are gone.
It remains unclear whether the new Pakistani government can be counted on as a reliable ally in the war against terrorism. President Musharraf has been a strong ally in this fight but only time will tell what the future holds. Until then, we must take the necessary steps to ensure our troops and mission in Afghanistan are protected, starting with the immediate creation of an integrated surveillance network on the border.