AN American intelligence report which casts doubts on the ability of the Afghan government to counter the resurgent Taliban must have come as a shock to President Hamid Karzai who never tires of blaming Islamabad for his regime's failure to curb terrorism in Afghanistan. Recently his Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta insisted that the battle against the insurgents in Afghanistan must be taken to its "breeding ground" in Pakistan. The New York Times quoted an intelligence officials familiar with the document, which is still classified and scheduled to be finalized after November 4, as saying that US intelligence agencies were also developing an assessment on Pakistan that would also be available after next month's presidential elections. This is certainly aimed at increasing pressure on Pakistan to launch fresh offensives against militants operating in the tribal region. The Bush Administration is not only sceptical about Islamabad's ability to fight terrorism but also blames it for dragging its feet on tackling the growing menace. This was indicated by a report in The Washington Post which referred to intelligence officials who believed that cooperation among the militant groups was bolstered by the hands-off attitude Pakistan's new civilian government initially adopted towards FATA last spring. The fact, however, remains that the fresh regrouping of militants was caused by the stepped-up attacks in the tribal areas by the unmanned US predators flown from Afghanistan. The latest missile attacks in the North Waziristan Agency on Thursday killed as many as nine people, including three of a family. The Bush Administration is adamant that the assaults on alleged militant targets in the tribal areas are legal under the self-defence provisions of the UN charter. But it should not ignore that a surge in cross-border strikes will make it difficult for the new democratic dispensation to convince the nation that "we are fighting our on war".