U.S. Gears Up for Spring Offensive

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that American military officials are planning a spring offensive along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with a view toward cleaning out the al Qaeda remnants hiding there and capturing or killing bin Laden. Apparently the reason why this has not been done already is that President Musharraf would allow only very limited incursions into Pakistan by special forces. Now that he has survived at least two assassination attempts, he is apparently willing to take the political risk of allowing a substantial body of American troops into the country.
On the other hand, President Musharraf himself said today that there is “no possibility” of a large contingent of American troops entering Pakistan to search for bin Laden, which he termed “a very sensitive subject.” I assume that it all depends on what you consider to be a large contingent.
Today army spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, apparently referring to the spring offensive, expressed confidence that bin Laden will soon be caught: “We have a variety of intelligence and we


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