FATA/NWFP Dilemma; Defining United States Policy for Long Term Stability on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border [open pdf - 585KB]
From the thesis abstract: "During the 9-11 Commission Report, a question was asked to American and foreign government officials, as well as military officers on the front lines fighting terrorists. The question was 'if you were a terrorist leader today, where would you locate your base?' The number one answer was western Pakistan and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. A failure of the United States and its Allies to engage the region with a coherent long-term policy, strategic goals and objectives will result in the FATA/NWFP [Federally Administered Tribal Areas/North-West Frontier Province] becoming the long-term 'center of gravity' (COG) for al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalist extremism. The Obama administration is facing the most complex set of National Security issues in recent history. All of these issues require well-defined national policy and a focused strategy integrating all elements of national power and a whole-of-government approach. Since 9-11, the United States has not clarified its vision to deny the extremists safe havens in the FATA/NWFP region. This thesis demonstrates through case studies how the United States, its allies, the United Nations, and the International Community unwittingly enabled, and later successfully denied al Qaeda center's of gravity in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. It is imperative that the United States demonstrate the resolve to deny al Qaeda future COG's, starting in the FATA/NWFP."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/