WASHINGTON - The Taliban's widening military campaign in southern Afghanistan is aided partly allegedly by support from operatives in Pakistan's military intelligence agency, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Citing US government officials, the newspaper said in a front page story that the support for the Taliban and other militant groups was coordinated by operatives in the S Wing of Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. The support involves money, military supplies and strategic planning guidance, said the officials, who requested anonymity. The Times said there was even evidence ISI operatives were meeting regularly with Taliban commanders for discussions on whether the militant group should intensify or reduce violence before Afghanistan's scheduled August elections. US officials told the Times that proof of the ties came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. Pakistani officials told the paper they had firsthand knowledge of the ties, which they denied were strengthening the insurgency. Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, and the United Nations warned earlier this month it was likely to worsen this year. President Barack Obama has ordered 17,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. They will join 38,000 American troops and 30,000 more from NATO allies and other nations. A U.S. official said on Tuesday that Obama was expected on Friday to announce the results of his administration's review of Afghanistan policy. Pakistani leaders deny any government ties to militant groups and the Times quoted U.S. officials as saying it was unlikely top government officials were coordinating the efforts. The middle-ranking intelligence operatives sometimes cultivate relationships without the approval of senior officials, the paper said. The American officials claim that proof of the ties between the Taliban and Pakistani spies came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. The Pakistani officials interviewed told the Times that they had firsthand knowledge of the connections, though they denied that the ties were strengthening the insurgency. American officials have complained for more than a year about the ISI's support to groups like the Taliban. But the new details, according to the paper, reveal that the spy agency is aiding a broader array of militant networks with more diverse types of support than was previously known - even months after Pakistani officials said that the days of the ISI's playing a "double game" had ended. In a sign of just how resigned Western officials are to the ties, the British government has sent several dispatches to Islamabad in recent months asking that the ISI use its strategy meetings with the Taliban to persuade its commanders to scale back violence in Afghanistan before the August presidential election there, one unnamed official claims. "But the inability, or unwillingness, of the embattled civilian government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, to break the ties that bind the ISI to the militants illustrates the complexities of a region of shifting alliances," the Times said. Obama administration officials admit that they are struggling to understand these allegiances as they try to forge a strategy to quell violence in Afghanistan, which has intensified because of a resurgent Taliban. Fighting this insurgency is difficult enough, officials said, without having to worry about an allied spy service's supporting the enemy. But the Pakistanis offered a more nuanced portrait, according to the dispatch. They said the contacts were less threatening than the American officials depicted and were part of a strategy to maintain influence in Afghanistan for the day when American forces would withdraw and leave what they fear could be a power vacuum to be filled by India. An unnamed senior Pakistani military officer was quoted as saying, "In intelligence, you have to be in contact with your enemy or you are running blind."