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Cables Reveal Role of US Troops in Pakistan

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TEHRAN, May 21 (ICANA) - "Pakistan has begun to accept intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support from the U.S. military for COIN operations," U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson wrote.
Saturday, May 21, 2011 9:23:11 PM
Cables Reveal Role of US Troops in Pakistan

Confidential American diplomatic cables obtained by Pakistan's Dawn daily reveal new details about the activities of U.S. forces on the ground in Pakistan, an issue that has gained heightened sensitivity in the aftermath of the Raymond Davis incident in Lahore and the American raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.

The reports reveal that U.S. special operations forces were embedded with Pakistani troops for intelligence gathering by the summer of 2009 and deployed with them on joint operations in Pakistani territory by September that year.

"We have created Intelligence Fusion cells with embedded U.S. Special Forces with both SSG and Frontier Corps (Bala Hisar, Peshawar) with the Rover equipment ready to deploy," reported then U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson to the State Department in May 2009. "Through these embeds, we are assisting the Pakistanis to collect and coordinate existing intelligence assets."

Although the presence of U.S. trainers has been publicly acknowledged, joint operations have not. Questions about American boots on the ground inflamed public sentiment after CIA operative Raymond Davis shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore, and Senator John Kerry admitted on Monday that U.S. troops levels had been reduced in response to a Pakistan military request in the aftermath of the bin Laden operation.

A number of the leaked reports reveal, however, that the U.S. had been eager to embed American troops with Pakistani soldiers. Dawn

Since 2001, Congress has approved about $20 billion for Pakistan in direct U.S. aid and military reimbursements, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says. Reuters

The CIA has long used intelligence from the Pakistan's intelligence agencies to help identify targets for drone strikes in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, but now, as officials on both sides say, it operates largely autonomously, especially since it has been concentrating its fire on the Haqqani militant network in the North Waziristan region. The Nation

U.S. military relations with Pakistan have further strained following the arrest of a CIA contractor for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore in January. Raymond Davis was released after compensation was paid to the families of the victims. NBC News

The Davis fallout led Pakistani spy agencies to determine that the U.S. indeed had hundreds of active CIA operatives working in the nation above and beyond the officially reported ones working with the government. Antiwar

Relations further soured after a March 17 drone attack in North Waziristan killed 50 innocent tribesmen. NBC News

Pakistan's parliament has adopted a resolution declaring the drone strikes were a violation of sovereignty equivalent to the secret attack on bin Laden's house in Abbottabad. NYT

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