According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama Administration is pressing for the Pakistani government to allow large numbers of additional CIA agents on the ground in the nation’s tribal areas, an effort to support the massive CIA drone attack program with more forces on the ground.
Yet Pakistani officials say they have rejected the demands, and there seems to be considerable opposition to increasing the CIA presence already in the country, which operates largely in secret.
There are a number of reasons for this opposition, chief among them being Pakistan’s public opposition to the US killings in the tribal areas and general distrust for the CIA. But some also suggest that the Pakistani government is worried the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency’s standing as a CIA partner, and that more CIA forces on the ground could mean cutting the ISI out of the picture.
The Obama Administration is forever looking to make more inroads into Pakistan, however, so it is doubtful they will simply let the matter drop. With another $2 billion in military aid being proposed just in the past few days, the administration’s clout over the Zardari government is only growing, and so too are its designs for a more substantial “on the ground” presence in Pakistan.
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