We have spies, but not troops in Pakistan, says US

Predator drone

Predator drone

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
American spies, but not combat troops, are active on Pakistani soil, according to Washington’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Speaking last Tuesday on PBS’ Charlie Rose, Richard Holbrooke said “there are no American troops in Pakistan”, but that the US has “members of our intelligence services in every country in the world”. Asked to clarify whether “[n]o members of the American military or CIA are in Pakistan”, the American diplomat responded: “I only said there are no American troops in Pakistan”. His comments appear to contradict several reports in Western media that US military forces are secretly operating in Pakistan, including a report last February in The New York Times, which stated that over 70 US “military advisers […] and technical specialists” were helping Pakistan’s armed forces fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the remote Pakistani areas bordering Afghanistan. The US advisers, who have reportedly been stationed in Pakistan since the summer of 2008, were said to include “communications experts and other specialists”. Asked to evaluate the impact of Washington’s operations in Pakistan, including the effect of the CIA-led unmanned drone bombings, Holbrooke responded by refusing “to try to give a grade to a work in progress”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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