March 2nd, 2009
08:17 AM ET
5 years ago

Gates calls Pakistan 'most worrisome'

 Afghan and U.S. soldiers walk at the site of a suicide attack outside Jalalabad in Nangarhar province Sunday.
Afghan and U.S. soldiers walk at the site of a suicide attack outside Jalalabad in Nangarhar province Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The "most worrisome" part of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan has become the havens the Taliban and other insurgents have carved out in neighboring Pakistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Gates said the United States had a similar perch in Pakistan when U.S. and Pakistani officials supported Afghanistan's mujahedeen rebels against the Soviet Union in the 1980s - "and let me tell you, it made a big difference."

"I think as long as they have a safe haven to operate there, it's going to be a problem for us in Afghanistan," he told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

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Filed under: Robert Gates
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Joe the Troll

    But didn't McCain say that Pakistan was a stanch ally? Maybe we should ask him, since he's so knowledgeable and all.......

    March 2, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Had It

    Here we go again !!!!

    Start a third war to help end the others. How stupid.

    March 2, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. RAG

    If you want ot understand Pakistan, think of what America would be like if Mafia, the Army and the Mormon Church ran it in an tripartate alliance. Three self-interested absolutist organizations in a three-way Mexican stand off... with nukes.

    Heaven help us.

    March 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. proudliberal-independent

    as long as there is a safe haven in Pakistan? either go after them in their safe havens or leave afghanistan, altogether. there is no reason to drag it out. if we know where they hide, take them out, and Pakistan can stick it in their ears.

    March 2, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. jeff

    Why not hilary Clinton and the Messiah Obama want to give hamas $ 900 million so they can't get more rockets and weapons to fire at Israel and Obama is against the iraq why and invading another country why are we bombing pakistan

    March 2, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. ronvan

    WHY? Why should the USA continue to keep troops in Afghanistan?
    Which country will be next? How many more of our soliers will die?
    It would appear that the leaders of these countries are involved with the enemy OR they really do not have the capability to stop them. So my thoughts would be to remove all US troops & equipment and then send in the bombs!

    March 2, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Freed_From_W

    "The "most worrisome" part of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan has become the havens the Taliban and other insurgents have carved out in neighboring Pakistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said."

    Yeah, I know. It's almost like we shouldn't waste innocent lives and money we clearly don't have blowing the place to hell.

    "Gates said the United States had a similar perch in Pakistan when U.S. and Pakistani officials supported Afghanistan's mujahedeen rebels against the Soviet Union in the 1980s — "and let me tell you, it made a big difference.""

    It sure did. I know not having The WTC anymore and supplying Bush for a pretext to invade Iraq really vindicated the support, eh?

    March 2, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. ronvan

    Rush Limbaugh: Are you kidding me. What a joke. If this is what the republicans tolerate then it is no wonder why they are falling apart.

    March 2, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Fred

    I never trusted Pakistan from the beginning. While the former president of Pakistan may have been an ally, the country as a whole is too unstable and divided. The scary part is that it is a nuclear enabled unstable country.

    March 2, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Crush(on)Rush

    Soo, what elective office is Rush holding at the moment? Is it a 2, 4 or 6 year term? Or is he permanently in the pockets of corporate America, the paranoid and scared and the ditto heads??

    Must be the latter. GOP = Go Ossifed Party , go with Rush, and go far far into the ol' sunset of history. Say hi to the whigs when you get there. Have a nice journey. Waves you off with a smile....

    March 2, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Zion

    Congratulations, now we are really fighting the war on terrorism.

    March 2, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. cnnnewser

    The republican administration dropped the ball in Afghanistan and started a war in Iraq – this is the most horrific thing that could have possibly been done. It proves the idiotic thinking of the Bush administration and of their cohorts.
    Our country fell from Grace with the Iraq war and now we're suffering the consequences of that war.
    Bring our troops home now!!!

    March 2, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. america first

    bush should have finished this war before he started another one based on lies.

    March 2, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Meka

    THE U.S. CREATED THIS PROBLEM . . . WHEN WE INVADED IRAQ!

    By leaving Afganistan (where we had WORLD SUPPORT), and going into Iraq--the U.S. created more support for "Terrror Militants" !

    WILL THE U.S. EVER LEARN ?

    March 2, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. LIP

    Inform Pakistan that they have one year to clean up the mess in their backyard and if after one year, they are unsuccessful, we will hold them responsible for any lack of progress in Afganistan and will proceed to clean it up without them.

    March 2, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. JOE

    Another BUSH screwup...The world burns while he sits on his front porch in Dallas, and sucks on his Jim Beam, bottle and has his fly down trying to catch fly's to amuse himself..

    March 2, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. andrea

    Yes, it seems that we are now on the wrong side of the Hindu Kush...
    I think the issue is that as long as the Pakistanis claims sovereignty over the North West frontier, they are responsible for the security there. So the question is twofold– in my opinion –for how long we help Pakistan to hold the Taliban and Al Qaeda in check, and from what moment on we hold Pakistan responsible for any attacks from their territory against Afghanistan and , most importantly, against the US mainland in 9/11 style.

    March 2, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Mari

    Pakistan and in fact, that whole region has been a disaster for centuries! We, the United States will not solve their problems. We need to think long and hard before continuing to spend our money there!

    March 2, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    When Pakistan decided to cut a deal with the taliban to end Pakistan's offensive where was Obama. Why didn't Obama respond? He could have at the very least condemned this deal. Now the taliban can walk the streets free from any fear of attack.

    March 2, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Scott, Tucson

    Name one occupation force that ever pacified the Afghans? the Brits tried it and failed, the Russians tried it and failed and we're not going to do much better in the long run. It will be a wasted of our treasure and American lives for a country that the majority of the population loves living in the Dark Ages.

    We might have better luck drying up their source of money i.e. simply agent Orange the heck out of their poppy fields and go after their main financial backer, the Saudis.

    March 2, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Yeah, I would think so too. Pakistan already has nukes, and hasn't done too much to help us with capturing Bin Laden since 9-11 anyway. The whole area over there is nothing but a trouble spot waiting to blow sky high anyway. The English couldn't do anything in Afganistan, nor could the Russians, so why do we think we can do much better?

    March 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. ari from virginia

    Gates is right!!!

    This is actually a dangerous situation.

    PAKISTAN ALREADY HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM!!!!!

    The taliban is about 120 miles away from the Pakistani stations is Pesawar and Islamabad and as of last week leagaly there by Pakistan law.

    If this is not tended to soon by the Pakistanis and the US government then the "shrum clouds" will re-appear somewhere in the world courtesy of the Taliban and no one will be able to stop the "holocost" that will follow.

    This is a dire emergency worldwide!!

    March 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Joe Terrogano

    We must remember the Soviet experience with Afghanistan. We must remember the Bush experience in Iraq. Now there is the border of Pakistan. Why are we the only real military power addressing these places? What do we really hope to accomplish? Do we have the financial resources to continue funding these campaigns? Are we going to invade Pakistan? Maybe it is time to admit that the U.S. can not continue to be the policeman of the world. Where are the Arabs in this fight? Where are the allies? I recall al Qaeda 's goal was to weaken the U.S. Continued expenditure of financial and military capital does not seem the wisest course.

    March 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. ray

    how about sending drug head rush limbaugh and sean hannity to iraq ? send these two racists so we will hope they fail.

    March 2, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. You got it

    Robert Gates, You got it right now that “Pakistan most worrisome”.

    Unfortunately, Bush did not get this in 8 years. His eyes could only see “Iraq Oil”.

    March 2, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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