NEW YORK The US military is secretly diverting drones and weaponry from the Afghan battlefront to significantly expand the CIAs campaign against militants inside Pakistan, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The shift in strategic focus reflects the US view that, with Pakistans military unable or unwilling to do the job, more US force against terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan is now needed to turn around the struggling Afghan war effort across the border, the newspaper said in a dispatch. The move reflects Washingtons complete insensitivity for the indiscriminate killings taking place inside the Pakistani territory that are compounding the already acute problems facing the country. In recent months, The Wall Street Journal said, the military has loaned Predator and Reaper drones to the CIA to give the agency more firepower to target and bombard militants on the Afghan border. The additional drones helped the CIA escalate the number of strikes in Pakistan in September, the report said. The agency averaged five strikes a week in September, up from an average of two to three per week. The Pentagon and CIA have ramped up their purchases of drones, but they arent being built fast enough to meet the rapid rise in demand. The escalated campaign in September aimed, in part, at disrupting a suspected terrorist plot to strike in Western Europe, the report said. The US officials said their working assumption was that Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda operatives were part of the suspected terror plot- or plots -believed to target the UK, France or Germany. They said they were still working to understand the contours of the scheme. The US officials say a successful terrorist strike against the West emanating from Pakistan could force the US to take unilateral military action-an outcome all parties are eager to avoid. Although the US military flies surveillance drones in Pakistan and shares intelligence with the Pakistani government, Pakistan has prohibited US military operations on its soil, arguing they would impinge on the countrys sovereignty. The CIA operations, while well-known, are technically covert, allowing Islamabad to deny to its unsupportive public its involvement with the strikes, the newspaper noted. The CIA doesnt acknowledge the programme, and the shift of Pentagon resources has been kept under wraps, it said. The Journal said, Pakistan has quietly cooperated with the CIA drone program which started under President George Bush. But the program is intensely unpopular in the country because of concerns about sovereignty and regular reports of civilian casualties. The US officials say the CIAs targeting of militants is precise, and that there have been a limited number of civilian casualties. The US officials said there is now less concern about upsetting the Pakistanis than there was a few months ago, and that the US is being more aggressive in its response to immediate threats from across the border. You have to deal with the sanctuaries, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Democrat, said after meeting with Pakistans foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in Washington recently. Ive pushed very, very hard with the Pakistanis regarding that. Tensions between the US and Pakistan have been exacerbated in recent days by a series of cross-border attacks by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) helicopter gunships. Islamabad responded by shutting a key border crossing used to supply Western troops in Afghanistan and threatening to halt NATO container traffic altogether. On Friday, militants in Pakistan attacked tankers carrying fuel toward another border crossing, in another sign of the vulnerability of NATO supply lines crossing Pakistani territory. Because the US military officials say success in Afghanistan hinges, in large part, on shutting down the militant havens in Pakistan, the surge in drone strikes could also have far-reaching implications for the Obama administration, which is under political pressure to show results in the nine-year Afghan war and has set a goal of beginning to withdraw troops in July. The secret deal to beef up the CIAs campaign inside Pakistan shows the extent to which military officials see the havens there, used by militants to plan and launch attacks on US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, as the primary obstacle to the Afghan war effort, the Journal said. When it comes to drones, theres no mission more important right now than hitting targets in the tribal areas, and thats where additional equipments gone, a U.S. official was quoted as saying. Its not the only answer, but its critical to both homeland security and force protection in Afghanistan.