Pakistan must brace itself for more American drone attacks if President Barack Obama decides to shift his strategy against al-Qaeda away from more troops in Afghanistan to more strikes by unmanned aircraft against terrorist targets. As the war worsens in Afghanistan, a U.S. media report said Obama could steer away from the comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy he laid out this spring and toward a narrower focus on counterterrorism operations. Citing two senior administration officials, it said that the renewed fight against al-Qaeda could lead to more missile attacks on Pakistan terrorist havens by unmanned U.S. spy planes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made, it said. The armed drones could contain al-Qaeda in a smaller, if more remote, area and keep its leaders from retreating back into Afghanistan, the officials said. The prospect of a White House alternative to a deepening involvement in Afghanistan comes as administration officials debate whether to send more troops as urged in a blunt assessment of the deteriorating conflict by the top U.S. commander there, General Stanley McChrystal. The president thus far has not endorsed the McChrystal approach, saying in television interviews over the weekend that he needs to be convinced that sending more troops would make Americans safer from al-Qaeda. Obama reiterated in those interviews that his core goal is to destroy al-Qaeda, which is not present in significant numbers in Afghanistan. "I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face," Obama told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Top aides to Obama said he still has questions and wants more time to decide. Officials said the administration aims to push ahead with the ground mission in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, still leaving the door open for sending more U.S. troops. But Obama's top advisers, including Vice President Joe Biden, have indicated they are reluctant to send many more troops if any at all in the immediate future. The proposed shift would bolster U.S. action on Obama's long-stated goal of dismantling terrorist havens, but it could also complicate American relations with Pakistan, long wary of the growing use of aerial drones to target militants along the porous border with Afghanistan, the report said. Most U.S. military officials have preferred a classic counterinsurgency mission to keep al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan by defeating the Taliban and securing the local population. However, one senior White House official said it's not clear that the Taliban would welcome al-Qaeda back into Afghanistan. The official noted that it was only after the 9/11 attacks that the United States invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban in pursuit of al-Qaida. Pakistan will not allow the United States to deploy a large-scale military troop buildup on its soil, the report said, adding that its military and intelligence services are believed to have assisted the U.S. with airstrikes, even while the government has publicly condemned them. Wider use of missile strikes and less reliance on ground troops would mark Obama's second shift in strategy and tactics since taking office last January, it said.