WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the same day that President Obama reiterated his commitment to strike high-value targets inside Pakistan’s borders, two of his senior aides who are intimately involved with pursuing U.S. strategy in the area spoke frankly about the challenges posed by Pakistan.
“Well, we have had our ups and downs,” CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union when asked whether there was trust between the U.S. and Pakistani governments.
“How much more difficult is it if you can’t be sure that you share a secret?” CNN Chief National Correspondent John King asked U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who appeared together with Petraeus on the program. “You share some sensitive information with somebody in Pakistan and there is a history of this information being passed on to the security services and then in some cases pass on to al Qaeda and the Taliban?”
“Well, of course, you’re absolutely, right,” Holbrooke responded. “It’s a huge concern for General Petraeus and me.” Holbrooke also noted that Leon Panetta made his first overseas trip as CIA director to the Pakistan region. “This is going to be his focus,” Holbrooke added.
Holbrooke also said Sunday that the U.S. intended to work on “the trust deficit” between the U.S. and Pakistan. “The relationship between Pakistan and the United States is immensely complicated and it isn’t quite where it should be,” the seasoned diplomat told King.