WASHINGTON The US military is studying options for a 'unilateral strike in Pakistan, whom it calls a key ally in the war on terror, in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the countrys tribal areas, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Experts here were not surprised by the move, despite recent statements by top administration officials that they would leave the military operations against the Taliban to the Pakistani military. One expert said he believes that the report has been planted by the administration in an attempt to pressure Pakistan into launching an offensive in North Waziristan Agency. Citing unidentified senior military officials, the newspaper said planning for a retaliatory attack was spurred by ties between Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square bombing, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban, the US newspaper said, quoting unidentified senior military officials. Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square, one of the officials was quoted as saying by The Post. The military would focus on air and missile raids but also could use small teams of US special operations troops currently along the border with Afghanistan, the report said. Air raids could damage the groups ability to launch new attacks but also might damage US-Pakistani relations. The CIA already conducts unmanned drone raids in the countrys tribal regions. Officials told the Washington Post that a US military response would be considered only if attacks persuaded President Barack Obama that the CIA campaign is ineffective. A senior US official told the Associated Press news agency on Wednesday that Pakistan already has been told that it has only weeks to show real progress in a crackdown against the Taliban. The US has put Pakistan on a clock to launch a new intelligence and counterterrorist offensive against the group, which the White House alleges was behind the Times Square bombing attempt, according to the official. US officials also have said the country reserves the right to attack in the tribal areas in pursuit of Osama bin Laden and other targets. At the same time, the paper said administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistans intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence centre on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta. The fusion centres are meant to bolster Pakistani military operations by providing direct access to US intelligence, including real-time video surveillance from drones controlled by the US Special Operations Command, the officials said. But in an acknowledgment of the continuing mistrust between the two governments, the officials added that both sides also see the centres as a way to keep a closer eye on one another, as well as to monitor military operations and intelligence activities in insurgent areas. Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a television interview after the Times Square attempt that if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences. Obama dispatched his national security adviser, James Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta to Islamabad this month to deliver a similar message to Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Jones and Panetta also presented evidence gathered by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Shahzad received significant support from the Pakistani Taliban, The Post said.