ESCALATION

U.S. Pushes Pakistan Ground Raids

Senior military commanders in Afghanistan want to expand Special Operations ground raids into Pakistan, a risky move that could cause a Pakistani backlash. The plan has not been approved, but commanders are pushing now more than ever as Obama’s deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan nears. The proposal would open a new front in the war, which has grown unpopular among Americans. So far, U.S. troops have been largely prohibited from entering Pakistan, and the war there has mainly been carried out by armed CIA drones. In recent years, Afghan militias backed by the CIA have carried out secret missions into Pakistani tribal areas, known as Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams. Most of these missions have been to gather intelligence, although there have been reports of raids to capture Taliban and al Qaeda leaders.