Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pakistan Is the New Chile, But a Lot Worse

U.S. military advisers are helping the Pakistanis double the size of their elite commando force in a continuing effort to blunt the rising threat of terror groups and anti-government militants operating in Pakistan's unruly tribal areas, a senior Defense Department official said.

The U.S. military presence in the country is fewer than 100 people, said the official, Mike Vickers, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, and is focused on what he called "targeted training." That includes assisting Pakistan's Special Service Group and teaching specialized fighting techniques, like helicopter assaults...

"We have certain capabilities that we can do in a low-visibility manner that can enhance the operations of Pakistani forces," Vickers said.

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