December 21st, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Cross-border campaign report questioned by NATO, Pakistani diplomat

The NATO command in Afghanistan and a Pakistani diplomat took issue with a news report Tuesday that said some U.S. commanders are advocating "an expanded campaign" of cross-border Special Operations ground raids into Pakistan's perilous tribal region from Afghanistan.

The New York Times article dated Monday cited American officials in
Washington and Afghanistan and quoted one senior American officer as saying
"we've never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across."

The report says there have been only a few American incursions from Afghanistan into Pakistan and that the warfare in Pakistan "has for the most part been carried out by armed drones operated by the CIA."

The Times states the "plan has not yet been approved," but Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said "there is absolutely no truth to reporting in the New York Times that U.S. forces are planning to conduct ground operations into Pakistan.

He said ISAF, U.S. and Afghan forces "have developed a strong working relationship with the Pakistan military to address shared security issues."

"This coordination recognizes the sovereignty of Afghanistan and Pakistan to pursue insurgents and terrorists operating in their respective border areas. Cross border coordination has and continues to disrupt and dismantle insurgent networks in select areas, with significant operations on both sides of the border removing large numbers of insurgent leaders and fighters."

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, said Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, didn't indicate "the likelihood of ill-advised escalation or unilateral action by NATO troops beyond their mandate in Afghanistan."

"The U.S. and Pakistani forces understand each others terms of engagement well and have a very high level of cooperation as allies fighting a common enemy," said the ambassador.

"Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within our borders and no foreign forces are allowed or required to operate inside our sovereign territory. We work with our allies, especially the U.S., and appreciate their material support but we will not accept foreign troops on our soil - a position that is well known," he told CNN.

The Times points out that the "movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash," but the Times said "U.S. commanders have renewed their push for approval to send American commando teams into Pakistan" because it appears that Pakistan's troops won't conduct an offensive in the North Waziristan tribal region.

The Times' sources said officers were formulating plans to kick off ground operations designed to seize or kill Taliban and Haqqani network leaders.

Filed under: Drone strikes • NATO • Pakistan
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Amir

    Pakistan needs to push the millions of illegal Afghans out, they are the main criminals in our country. I demand the President of Pakistan do something about it. Sick and tired of this PC world, I will say it as it is, people are sick and tired of these millions of Afghans and pretty soon things can get out of control and get ugly as these people steal jobs and businesses.

    December 24, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • unshackled

      Unfortunately Pakistanis are unwelcome guest in India with disastrous result. We have seen plenty of them in 26/11 in 2008. Do not justify in the name of interference in Baluchistan all are hogwash, nothing is proven except the terror unleashed in India in its name. Same is happening in Afghan courtesy Haqqani network.

      December 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. glenn

    religious nonsense. The universe was created and no god was needed. the more we learn the less need for myth.

    December 24, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • unshackled

      Absolutely agree provided the citizen of world incl. Islamic nation are 100% educated with full access to internet and are democratic in every sense, not until then.

      December 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. glenn

    religious nonsense. The universe was created and no god was needed.

    December 24, 2010 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. unshackled

    Hail south Asian religion where the true peace spawned by rishis for betterment of humanity.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • unshackled

      You gutter 360 degree Arbi Islam is shame for humanity, your principle is "what is mine is mine what is yours is negotiable". You are using terror to prove your 360 idiot-ism. A dirty slave of Arbi a brainwashed moron. We are deep rooted in local culture, no Arbi petro $$$, now a IT power, we will drown you with our resource incl. money or missile. You are a pin head mean idiotic moron, simply a vermin worth to be ridiculed.

      December 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. unshackled

    Buddham Saranam Gacchami.
    I go for refuge in the Buddha.

    Dhammam Saranam Gacchami.
    I go for refuge in the Dharma.

    Sangham Saranam Gacchami.
    I go for refuge in the Sangha.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bledsoe


    December 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Khan

    I would go with top brass on how to conduct ops.

    December 22, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |

      You know better than that Khan,don't you?

      December 22, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        December 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LarryKegel(US Army)

    We should get permission from Pakistan to take Our Troops there and finish the job for Them!!!

    December 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      The only language the Hindu can understand is ......? wipe out from the face of earth? Oh!!! God ... you hate people so much..

      December 22, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • glenn

      We do not need another war larry.

      December 24, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. brenda

    should not waste more time. Pakistan should not say that we should not wait for the right time. During that period insurgents can hide again. Operations must continue without stopping. why giving time for them to hide.?

    December 21, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Will you kindly SHUT UP???

      December 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Now that's telling her,George. Good post.

        December 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        December 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |