U.S. to Pakistan: Let more CIA agents operate inside the tribal areas

The requests have so far been rebuffed by Islamabad, which remains extremely wary of allowing a larger U.S. ground presence in Pakistan, illustrating the precarious nature of relations between Washington and its wartime ally.

The number of CIA personnel in Pakistan has grown substantially in recent years. The exact number is highly classified. The push for more forces reflects, in part, the increased need for intelligence to support the CIA drone program that has killed hundreds of militants with missile strikes. The additional officers could help Pakistani forces reach targets drones can’t…

The current efforts to expand CIA presence are meant to expand intelligence collection and facilitate more aggressive Pakistani-led actions on the ground. Some U.S. officials, however, remain hopeful that Islamabad will allow a greater covert presence that could include CIA paramilitary forces…

While the Obama administration has been focused on North Waziristan, officials said there also is a need for Pakistani operations in the southern city of Quetta and the surrounding province of Baluchistan. The U.S. hopes that if it can develop precise information on militant leaders, it could entice the Pakistan government to arrest some top members of the Quetta Shura, the ruling council of the Afghan Taliban movement.