Friday, January 25, 2008

A message to Obama re Pakistan?

The FT reports Robert Gates saying on Thursday that the U.S. would consider joint military operations with the Pakistanis inside Pakistan if asked - but that we haven't been asked. Odd. Is this how we ask? Also odd: in the midst of a story otherwise devoted to retailing Gates' comments, in slips two cents from a "congressional aide' that might be construed as a rebuke to Obama:
“Joint combat operations would spark serious domestic opposition in Pakistan,” said a US congressional aide. “But unilateral operations by US troops would spark a true conflagration.”

Mr Gates stressed that the US was not considering undertaking large military operations inside the country, saying “we’re talking about a very small number of troops, should that happen.”
Obama asserted last August that as President he would be willing to attack al Qaeda inside Pakistan without approval from the Pakistani government: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will" (Reuters, 8/1/07).

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