US, Pakistan Agree on Osama Hunt

Reports have surfaced claiming that Pakistan has finally agreed to allow US troops to operate on Pakistani soil in the upcoming Special Ops spring offensive on al Qaeda (via Drudge):

Thousands of U.S. troops will be deployed in a tribal area of northwest Pakistan in return for Washington’s support of President Pervez Musharraf’s pardon of the Pakistani scientist who this month admitted leaking nuclear arms secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in the issue [of the New Yorker] that goes on sale on Monday.

Musharraf came under fire earlier for his breathtaking pardon of the man responsible for nuclear proliferation to the “Axis of Evil” and seemingly everyone else. The Bush administration leveraged that into a sweeping deal which Musharraf publicly claimed he’d never allow. And without being able to freely operate on both sides of the border, we wouldn’t be likely to get much accomplished in the rugged terrain of the Afghani/Pakistani border.
Now that some solid intelligence is coming through, the US reportedly will scale back its operations in Iraq in order to transfer thousands of troops and Special Forces into Afghanistan to pursue leads on the #1 man on the American Hit Parade, Osama bin Laden, and as many of his pals as possible. I would expect to see some results from the new mission as early as this month, when the weather clears up and our forces can freely negotiate the terrain.