OCTOBER 23, 2010.
Wider Role for CIA Sought
Efforts to Intensify Targeting of Taliban on Pakistani Soil Have Been Rebuffed by
By JULIAN E. BARNES and ADAM ENTOUS
WASHINGTON—The U.S. is pushing to expand a secret CIA effort to help Pakistan target militants in their havens near the Afghan border, according to senior officials, as the White House seeks new ways to prod Islamabad into more aggressive action against groups allied with al Qaeda,
The push comes as relations between
The requests have so far been rebuffed by
The number of CIA personnel in
There are currently about 900
A senior Pakistani official said relations with the CIA remain strong but
The Obama administration has been ramping up pressure on
The various moves reflect a growing belief that the Pakistani safe havens are a bigger threat to Afghan stability than previously thought.
When senior Pakistani officials visited
The current efforts to expand CIA presence are meant to expand intelligence collection and facilitate more aggressive Pakistani-led actions on the ground. Some
Much of the on-ground intelligence in
While the Obama administration has been focused on North Waziristan, officials said there also is a need for Pakistani operations in the southern city of
Some officials are hopeful that
Tensions remain between the
In September, the CIA stepped up the pace of drone strikes in
CIA Director Leon Panetta, who visited Islamabad late last month, said ISI has been "very cooperative," playing down tensions over
Pakistani officials believe the CIA is better able to keep details of its operations largely out of the public eye, although the agency's drone program has received widespread attention and is enormously unpopular with the Pakistani public.
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