President Bush green-lighted orders allowing American special forces to conduct raids inside Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government, senior US officials told the New York Times. One raid took place last week and more are expected as the US steps up its actions against al-Qaeda militants—despite the stern objections of Pakistan's military.
Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, supports more aggressive action by his troops against militants, but is keen to avoid being seen as an American stooge. US officials backed Bush's new orders despite the damage they may do to US-Pakistani relations, sources said. American intelligence agencies believe Pakistan's spy agency has links to the militants, and may have tipped them off about earlier raids.