Friday, December 24, 2010



U.S. looking to increase their military interventions in Pakistan (News)
AFP | 21.12.1910 | 08h14

AFP | 21.12.1910 | 08h14

Senior U.S. military officials want to expand the Special Forces ground operations in Pakistani tribal areas, but faced resistance from within the Obama administration, said Monday the New York Times.
The United States considers these areas as a sanctuary for Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban and a rear base from which Afghan Taliban are carrying out attacks against international forces across the border.
Washington continues to press Islamabad, his ally in the region since late 2001, to do more to neutralize the rebels.
U.S. forces are so far mainly involved in covert operations and raids using unmanned drones, provoking hostile reactions from Pakistani officials.
The possibility of increased U.S. operations in these areas was immediately rejected by the Pakistani side ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, who stressed that his country was "able to cope with rebel threat" and that "No foreign force n (was) authorized to operate on (his) sovereign territory."
In Kabul, a spokesman for NATO's international force (Isaf), Vice-Admiral Greg Smith, has denied all information in the New York Times, noting that U.S. forces and NATO acknowledged " the sovereignty of Afghanistan and Pakistan to hunt down insurgents and terrorists within their respective borders. "
U.S. military officials told the newspaper that sending Special Forces beyond the border would yield valuable information from Islamic militants who might be captured and taken to neighboring Afghanistan for interrogation.
"We have never been so ready to have the green light to cross the border," said a senior U.S. official, quoted by the newspaper.
But a senior administration, however, Obama said he did not support cross-border operations, saying they had been rather "counterproductive" at least to target senior al-Qaeda.
The leader also expressed concern that the political consequences in Pakistan negate the benefits of tactical operations.
U.S. drone attacks on Pakistani tribal areas have grown substantially since the summer of 2008. Some 117 strikes have been conducted since the beginning of the year, more than double that in 2009, as counted from the center of reflection for a New America Foundation.