American ex-Special Forces on the prowl in Pakistan
Using former special forces units in Pakistan to hunt down al Qaeda related terrorists allows the both the American and Pakistani governments to plausibly deny that there are any US troops on Pakistani soil.
The official ban is in deference to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose solid alliance with the United States in the war on terror stops short of allowing American ground troops in his country.
Asked at a March press conference whether U.S. troops were inside Pakistan hunting for Osama bin Laden, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld responded, “The U.S. Department of Defense people? I doubt it. Not that I know of.”
But Washington is getting around the ban by signing up former Delta Force commandos, SEALs and Green Berets and assigning them to special duties in Pakistan, according to two sources close to the special-operations community.
“There are a load of contracts going on for ex-SF [Special Forces] types there for every alphabet agency there is,” one of the sources said. [Washington Times]
Given the large sums of money on the heads of Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, American bounty hunters will find fresh pickings in Pakistan.