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The appearance of these reports in the corporate media arrive as the United States prepares a "surge" of some 17,000 American troops into Afghanistan and as the Obama administration escalates CIA drone attacks inside Pakistan. On March 18, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon is contemplating "broadening the target area" to include "a major insurgent sanctuary in and around the city of Quetta."
Extending military operations into the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, with the potential for "surging" CIA paramilitary officers and Special Operations troops to "kill or capture" senior Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives represents a significant escalation of the conflict.
In a March 27 announcement outlining America's new regional strategy in the "Afpak theatre," President Obama vowed to send an additional 4,000 troops under cover of "training" recruits for the Afghan National Army. The Pentagon plans to raise the total strength of the Afghan army to 134,000 by 2011.