According to The New York Times, US military leaders are pushing for the expansion of US ground operations against the Taliban based in Pakistan:
The proposal, described by American officials in Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash.
The plan has not yet been approved, but military and political leaders say a renewed sense of urgency has taken hold, as the deadline approaches for the Obama administration to begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. Even with the risks, military commanders say that using American Special Operations troops could bring an intelligence windfall, if militants were captured, brought back across the border into Afghanistan and interrogated.
But as we’ve noted numerous times before, cross-border ground operations and helicopter attacks by US military forces have been responded to quickly by the Pakistani military, which is fiercely opposed to such action. The last time such raids took place, in late September, the Khyber Pass border crossing was closed down and the Pakistani military green-lighted attacks by the Taliban against ISAF supply convoys moving in the northwest and Baluchistan, as well as just outside the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Also, note how touchy ISAF was in late November when rumors emerged that US helicopters had crossed into Pakistan. Clearly ISAF is concerned that the Pakistanis will again close the border.
The bottom line is that US special operations forces and Afghan counterparts (see the NYT article for more information on those) will not be able to operate in northwestern Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistanis, lest the vital supply lines that sustain forces in Afghanistan are shut down in protest.
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