When it comes to American troops operating in Pakistan, both Pakistan and the United States have played a double game since 2001. The United States is unpopular in Pakistan. The Pakistani government cannot afford to be seen permitting American troops to operate on Pakistani soil. That would send the wrong message to Pakistanis at large--that the Pakistani military, the single-most respected institution in Pakistan, is incapable of defending Pakistani sovereignty on its own.
The fact is, however, that American troops have been based on Pakistani soil since 2001, and that the Pakistani military is incapable of facing up to the twin threats of the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda on its own. Since 2001, Pakistan has relied on colossal infusions of military aid in the form of cash (more than $10 billion between 2001 and 2009), weaponry, logistics and U.S. troops--officially, Special Forces operating as advisers.
And since 2002 or 2003, the CIA and the US military have been attacking targets in Pakistan by unmanned Predator drones. The attacks have been stepped up by a significant order of magnitude during the Obama administration, especially in 2010. The CIA drones are based in secret locations in Pakistan and armed by Blackwater mercenaries, according to The New York Times.
American Casualties in Pakistan
The very first American casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom--the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001--fell on Pakistani soil, when Army Rangers Pfc. Kristofor T. Stonesifer and Specialist Jonn Joseph Edmunds were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed. An official military history of the Afghan invasion, written by the United States Special Operations Command, describes the crash as a result of "brown-out conditions" during an operation involving four helicopters that were inserting 26 Rangers at a desert air strip to provide "a support site for contingency operations" during an assault on the Taliban's Mullah Omar Muhammad's compound in Afghanistan.
On Jan. 9, 2002, a KC-130 Hercules that had left an air base in Jacobabad, Pakistan, clipped a mountaintop and crashed, killing seven U.S. Marines. It was heading for a U.S. re-supply hub and staging base at an airfield at Shamsi, 140 miles south of the Afghan border, for Marines operating in southern Afghanistan.
On May 14, 2007, Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr., a member opf the 82nd Airborne Division, was killed by small arms fire in Teri Mengel, Pakistan, making him the first American casualty by direct hostile fire.
On Sept. 20, 2008, a 1,300-pound bomb exploded at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, killing 54, including two U.S. soldiers.
On February 3, 2010, three American Special Forces soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber (or an improvised explosive device) in Lower Dir, close to Pakistan's Tribal Areas.
American Incursions Into Pakistan
On Sept. 4, 2008, the Washington Post reported that "helicopters carried U.S. and Afghan commandos many miles into Pakistan on Wednesday to stage the first U.S. ground attack against a Taliban target inside the country," according to Pakistani officials. Pakistan lodged a formal protest.
Obama's Official Position
In an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS' Face the Nation on March 1, 2009, Obama managed categorically to deny that he was putting "boots on the ground" in Pakistan and suggest that American troops would operate in Pakistan in certain circumstances. "If we have a high-value target within our sights," Obama said, "after consulting with Pakistan, we're going after them." That means U.S. troops would operate in Pakistan. Moments later, when asked, twice, if he would put books on the ground to pursue targets, or to chase them into their safe havens in Pakistan, Obama categorically answered "No."