PAMELA HESS and MATTHEW LEE
August 8, 2008
WASHINGTON – Top Bush administration officials are pressing the president to direct U.S. troops in Afghanistan to be more aggressive in pursuing militants into Pakistan on foot as part of a proposed radical shift in regional counterterrorism strategy, The Associated Press has learned.
Senior intelligence and military aides want President Bush to give American soldiers greater flexibility to operate against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters who cross the border from Pakistan’s lawless tribal border area to conduct attacks inside Afghanistan, officials say.
The plan could include sending U.S. special forces teams, temporarily assigned to the CIA, into the tribal areas to hit high-value targets, according to an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the plan.