US May Strike Deeper Into Pakistan
Drones may target Taliban sanctuaries beyond tribal areas
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2009 1:44 AM CDT
Insurgents move to a mountain firing post before attacking a Pakistani troop outpost near Kahan in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan in this 2006 file photo.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration is considering expanding its covert war in Pakistan beyond tribal areas to strike Taliban havens in regions under the central government's control, reports the New York Times. US commanders believe the Taliban, under the leadership of Mullah Omar, is operating out of sanctuaries in Baluchistan—which borders southern Afghanistan—and are lobbying for more aggressive action.

Strikes in tribal areas have forced Taliban commanders to flee to Baluchistan, leaving them more exposed and vulnerable to well-timed strikes, say American officials. Pakistan complains that attacks by CIA drones violate the country’s sovereignty. US officials say they continue to urge Pakistani to take the lead in rooting out the militants blamed for destabilizing southern Afghanistan, but note that Pakistan's current turmoil makes it unlikely their military can deliver.