Best Sunday Newspaper Read: U.S. Ground Presence On Pakistani Soil?


The need to widen the hunt for the Taliban being discussed.

The new pressure from Washington was characterized by both the Pakistani and American officials as a sharp turnaround from the relatively polite encouragement adopted by the Obama administration in recent months. And it comes amid increasing debate within the administration about how to expand the American military’s influence — and even a boots-on-the-ground presence — on Pakistani soil.

Though the bombing in Times Square failed, Mr. Shahzad’s ability to move back and forth between the United States and Pakistan has heightened fears in the Obama administration that another attempt at a terrorist attack could succeed.

“We are saying, ‘Sorry, if there is a successful attack, we will have to act’ ” within Pakistan, one of the American officials said.

That issue has been a source of growing tension between the countries. Pakistani officials, already alarmed by the increase in American drone aircraft attacks against militants in northwestern Pakistan, have been extremely sensitive about any hint that American ground troops could become involved in the fight. And attempts by the United States to increase the presence of Special Operations forces there even in an advisory or training role have been met with great resistance by the Pakistanis.

 

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