Expelled at the end of November after US warplanes inexplicably attacked a pair of Pakistani military bases along the Afghan border, the first of the US special operations forces are trickling back into Peshawar today, part of a training mission.
US officials who confirmed the return of the troops said that “less than 10” were returning so far, and that it was “not insignificant.” The deployment of US troops in Peshawar is hugely controversial within Pakistan, despite the insistence that they are restricted to training operations.
The November US attack effectively severed the already strained relationship with Pakistan, ending the training mission and leading Pakistan to expel a large portion of the CIA contingent in the nation as well.
Things are still far from normal in the US-Pakistani relationship, as President Obama continues to “consider” whether or not he is going to apologize for the attack, and as US drones continue to pound Pakistan’s tribal areas. The return of the trainers suggest that slowly but surely, the US effort to wait out Pakistani anger is having some success.
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