US Secretly Training Pakistani Commandos
Forces help troops to fight Taliban, al-Qaeda
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 5:07 AM CST
A Pakistani police officer keeps position on the rooftop of a checkpost at Jamrud Road, leading to Afghanistan after it was closed by authorities late last year.   (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – Dozens of American military advisers and technical specialists are secretly working in Pakistan to train armed forces to battle the Taliban and al-Qaeda, reports the New York Times. The Special Forces soldiers are providing intelligence and advising the Pakistani military on combat tactics, although they are not conducting combat operations. The program is larger and more ambitious than the US or Pakistan has ackowledged.

Pakistan strongly protests each time the US conducts missile strikes in the volatile tribal area near the Afghan border, despite secret government support for the raids. Yet despite spiking anti-Americanism among Pakistan's population, the government is seeing benefits from US operations. One Pakistani official said that CIA intelligence has enabled a new Pakistani commando unit to kill or seize up to 60 militants, including high-level commanders.