NEW YORK As US President Barack Obama announced plans to send more troops to fight resurgent Taliban, he also quietly authorised an expansion of war against militants in Pakistan under which CIA would widen its campaign of strikes by unmanned drones, a leading American newspaper reported Wednesday. Mr. Obama could not be very specific about his Pakistan strategy, his advisers told The New York Times after the US leaders major speech outlining his Afghan war plans. American operations in Pakistan are classified, mostly run by the Central Intelligence Agency, The Times pointed out in explaining why the US leader could not be more forthcoming. Any overt American presence would only fuel anti-Americanism in a country that reacts sharply to every missile strike against extremists that kills civilians as well, and that fears the United States is plotting to run its government and seize its nuclear weapons. In recent months, the newspaper said, in addition to providing White House officials with classified assessments about Afghanistan, the CIA delivered a plan for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the CIAs budget for operations inside the country. The expanded operations could include drone strikes in the southern province of Balochistan where senior Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding, officials told The Times. It is from there that they direct many of the attacks on American troops, attacks that are likely to increase as more Americans pour into Afghanistan. The president endorsed an intensification of the campaign against Al-Qaeda and its violent allies, including even more operations targeting terrorism safe havens, an unnamed American official was quoted as saying. More people, more places, more operations. That was the message delivered in recent weeks to Pakistani officials by Gen. James Jones, the national security adviser. But the Pakistanis, suspicious of Mr. Obamas intentions and his staying power, have not yet agreed. General Jones was one of a series of American officials who arrived in Pakistan in recent weeks with the same message: no matter how many troops the president commits to Afghanistan, the strategy will founder unless the safe haven inside Pakistan is dealt with. However, the United States does not have much leverage and is counting on a new attitude and a huge acceleration of efforts from a weak government, The Times said. Making matters worse, President Asif Ali Zardari is often at odds with the nations powerful military and intelligence establishment. The question about Mr. Obamas Pakistan strategy is whether the new commitment of troops and resources can ultimately make America safer at a time of an evolving terrorist threat. Mr. Obama insisted that was his central focus. This is the epicentre of the violent extremism practiced by Al-Qaeda, he said to the cadets at West Point, speaking of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the murky border area between the two that offers refuge to extremists of many stripes. The region was the birthplace of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he said, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. Many times in the speech he returned to that threat, saying it was what made this war different from Vietnam. The stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that Al-Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them, he said. Mr. Obamas decision to raise the nuclear spectre was notable because a succession of American officials has publicly stated recently that the Pakistani arsenal is secure, the dispatch said. In private, however, they have commissioned new intelligence studies on how vulnerable Pakistani warheads and laboratories would be if insurgents made greater inroads, with one official saying recently, It is the scenario we spend the most time thinking about.