Despite sustained denials by US officials spanning more than a year, U.S.military Special Operations Forces have been conducting offensive operations inside Pakistan, helping direct US drone strikes and conducting joint operations with Pakistani forces against Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in north and south Waziristan and elsewhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, according to secret cables released as part of the Wikileaks document dump.

According to an October 9, 2009 cable classified by Anne Patterson, the US ambassador to Pakistan, the operations were "almost certainly [conducted] with the personal consent of [Pakistan's] Chief of Army Staff General Kayani." The operations were coordinated with the US Office of the Defense Representative in Pakistan. A US special operations source told The Nation that the US forces described in the cable as "SOC(FWD)-PAK" were "forward operating troops" from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the most elite force within the US military made up of Navy SEALs, Delta Force and Army Rangers.

The cables also confirm aspects of a Nation story from November 2009, The Secret US War in Pakistan, which detailed offensive combat operations by JSOC in Pakistan. In response to the Nation story, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell called it "conspiratorial" and explicitly denied that US special operations forces were doing anything other than "training" in Pakistan. More than a month after the October 2009 cable from the US embassy in Pakistan confirming JSOC combat missions, Morrell told reporters: "We have basically, I think, a few dozen forces on the ground in Pakistan who are involved in a train-the-trainer mission.
The (Not So) Secret U.S. War in Pakistan - CBS News

Roadside bomb kills 3 American soldiers in Pakistan, Taliban claims responsiblity



EO 12958 DECL: 10/05/2034

Classified By: Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (a)(b)(c), and (d)

¶1. (S) Summary: The Pakistani Army has for just the second time approved deployment of U.S. special operation elements to support Pakistani military operations. The first deployment, with SOC(FWD)-PAK elements embedded with the Frontier Corps in XXXXXXXXXXXX, occurred in September (reftel). Previously, the Pakistani military leadership adamantly opposed letting us embed our special operations personnel with their military forces. The developments of the past two months thus appear to represent a sea change in their thinking. End Summary.

¶2. (S) Pakistan Army General Headquarters (GHQ) informed ODRP that it approved a request from the Army’s 11 Corps Commander, Lt. General Masood Aslam, for U.S. SOC(FWD)-PAK personnel to deploy to XXXXXXXXXXXX South Waziristan and XXXXXXXXXXXX North Waziristan, in the FATA, in order to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) support and general operational advice to the 11 Corps’ XXXXXXXXXXXX. The 11 Corps had informally approached ODRP about our providing such support approximately one week ago; ODRP responded positively.

¶3. (S) SOC(FWD)-PAK support to 11 Corps would be at the XXXXXXXXXXXX and would include a live downlink of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) full motion video. SOC(FWD)-PAK’s initial CONOPs envision deployment of six personnel each to XXXXXXXXXXXX. In order to finalize our planning and obtain formal go-ahead from CENTCOM, ODRP has requested additional information on the timing and purpose of the 11 Corps’ planned military operations from Brigadier General Amjad Shabbir, the Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO).

¶4. (S) This is just the second time that GHQ has approved deployment of U.S. special operations elements to support Pakistani military operations. In September 2009, four SOC(FWD)-PAK personnel who were embedded with the Frontier Corps (FC) at XXXXXXXXXXXX in the FATA, provided ISR for an FC operation (reftel). This support was highly successful, enabling the FC to execute a precise and effective artillery strike on an enemy location.

¶5. (S) In recent days, the FC informally approached ODRP for a repeat deployment of SOC(FWD)-PAK personnel to XXXXXXXXXXXX. SOC(FWD)-PAK is preparing a CONOP while the FC obtains approval from GHQ.

¶6. (S) Comment: U.S. special operation elements have been in Pakistan for more than a year, but were largely limited to a training role. The Pakistani Army leadership previously adamantly opposed letting us embed U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) with their military forces to support their operations. The recent approval by GHQ -- almost certainly with the personal consent of Chief of Army Staff General Kayani -- for SOC(FWD)-PAK deployments to XXXXXXXXXXXX appears to represent a sea change in Pakistani thinking. Patient relationship-building with the military is the key factor that has brought us to this point. The Pakistanis are increasingly confident that we do not have ulterior motives in assisting their operations. In addition, the direct recipients of SOC(FWD)-PAK training appear to have recognized the potential benefits of bringing U.S. SOF personnel into the field with them for operational advice and other support. In addition, the success of the initial deployment to XXXXXXXXXXXX likely helped catalyze the follow-up requests for new and repeat support.

¶7. (S) Comment Continued: These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil. Should these developments and/or related matters receive any coverage in the Pakistani or U.S. media, the Pakistani military will likely stop making requests for such assistance. End Comment.
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