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New U.S. tactics in Pakistan

Ground raids in Pakistan have decreased due to the U.S. backing away from using American commandos after complaints from the Pakistani government, the New York Times reported.

The U.S. is instead relying on a campaign of airstrikes by the Central Intelligence Agency against militants in the Pakistani mountains.

Attacks by remotely piloted Predator aircraft have increased in the past three months, American and Pakistani officials have said.

Relying on airstrikes alone, officials said, would decrease the ability of the U.S. to weaken Al Qaeda's grip in the tribal areas.

Advocates of the ground raids have argued that only through the raids can the U.S. successfully capture suspected operatives.

President Bush approved ground raids in July after months of debate and frustration over Pakistan's failure to carry out more counterterrorism operations, but the only known ground mission was a Special Operations raid on Sept. 3, during which two dozen people were killed, including some civilians. Officials said there has not been another commando operation since.