Tuesday, December 21, 2010
U.S., NATO Not Planning Ground Ops in Pakistan, Officials Say
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Press stories suggested the coalition was proposing to launch special operations forces into
North Waziristan – a part of the Federally Administered Tribal Area in – to go after militants who use the area as a safe haven. Pakistan
“There is absolutely no truth to reporting in the New York Times that
forces are planning to conduct ground operations into U.S. ,” Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a NATO spokesman in Pakistan , said today. Kabul
ISAF and the Afghan government have developed a strong working relationship with the Pakistani government, Smith said, and the entities coordinate activities along the border to put the squeeze on militants.
Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan also commented on the story. “We’re not sure what the source of that story is, but it is inaccurate,” he said.
Lapan said the
has worked extensively with Pakistani authorities. United States now recognizes that terrorists in the country are an existential threat. In 2009, Pakistani Taliban took the Pakistan – about 40 miles from the capitol of Swat Valley – from the government. Pakistani soldiers and police moved to retake the valley. Since then, Islamabad has moved 140,000 soldiers into the western border area with Pakistan . They have moved forces into Kyber province, Afghanistan South Waziristan and Baijur province.
Monsoon floods last summer dislocated 20 million people around the country, and the Pakistani army was key to providing relief assistance to those displaced.
told reporters last week that Pakistani forces are over-extended. The forces can clear areas of militant activities, but they have to stay in the area to hold them as other government agencies are not developed enough to come in behind soldiers to maintain security and phase in development. Islamabad
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