President Obama's Toughest Challenge Abroad?

The Frontier Corps is "really not up to the task, because people in that force have been quitting their jobs and they have been surrendering to the Taliban," noted Rahimullah Yusufzai, an ABC News consultant and the Peshawar editor of The News International newspaper.

And "they haven't been trained to fight in their own country against their own people," he continued. "Primarily, they're fighting Pakistani militants. And if you take the Frontier Corps, these are all Pashtuns, belonging to the tribes. It's not easy for them to make up their own mind and fight their own people."

Pakistan's military insists the motivation is there, but admits it needs help -- more helicopters, more sophisticated communications equipment, and more training.

Training Against the Taliban

But while the United States has tried to train the Pakistani army and shift its focus from conventional warfare (against India) toward counterinsurgency (against the Taliban), the military has resisted, instead restricting American trainers' access to the Frontier Corps troops who were never trained to fight this kind of battle.

Part of the solution, Obama and his aides have said, is looking at the problem regionally. That policy would include engaging with Iran, trying to cool India-Pakistan tensions, and creating a massive development zone across Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"You need a comprehensive policy inside Afghanistan which combines a military surge along with a developmental and reconstruction surge, and at the same time, you need a regional policy which brings the neighbors together," said Ahmed Rashid, the author of "Descent into Chaos."

"The regional powers need to become part of a settlement rather than trying to angle and support proxies inside Afghanistan."

And that regional, diplomatic approach, analysts here say, has a much better chance of success than one that relies mostly on the military.

"Your presence is welcome," said retired Pakistani Lt. Gen. Talat Masood, a former defense secretary, referring to the U.S. "But you have to emphasize more on nation building and social uplift of the people, rather than military. Because I don't think with military you can entirely succeed."

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