By David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt
Barack Obama has authorised an expansion of the war in Pakistan — if only he can get a weak, divided, suspicious Pakistani government to agree to the terms.
Active voices: The expanded operations in Pakistan could include drone strikes in the southern province of Balochistan where senior Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding
U.S. President Barack Obama focused his speech on Afghanistan. He left much unsaid about Pakistan, where the main terrorists he is targeting are located, but where he can send no troops.
Mr. Obama could not be very specific about his Pakistan strategy, his advisers conceded on Monday evening. U.S. operations there are classified, most run by the CIA. Any overt U.S. presence would only fuel anti-Americanism in a country that reacts sharply to every missile strike against extremists that kills civilians as well, and that fears that America is plotting to run its government and seize its nuclear weapons.
Yet quietly, Mr. Obama has authorised an expansion of the war in Pakistan as well — if only he can get a weak, divided, suspicious Pakistani government to agree to the terms.
In recent months, in addition to providing White House officials with classified assessments about Afghanistan, the CIA delivered a plan for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the CIA’s budget for operations inside the country.