December 2nd, 2009
02:31 PM ET
11 months ago

Pakistan a key factor in U.S. Afghan policy

Success in Afghanistan is 'inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan,' President Obama said Tuesday night.
Success in Afghanistan is 'inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan,' President Obama said Tuesday night.

Washington (CNN) - When President Obama took to the world stage to detail U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, he hammered home a key foreign policy principle: Success in Afghanistan is "inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan."

"We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country," he said in his Tuesday night speech at West Point. "But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That is why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border."

The United States says Pakistan looms large because Taliban and al Qaeda militants operating in Afghanistan also have had a presence in Pakistan's northwestern region near the Afghan border and have threatened the governments and troops in both countries.

One U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN the Afghan Taliban has bolstered its ranks, stepped up its attacks and increased its territory. In Pakistan, al Qaeda and other militants persist in planning strikes against U.S. interests in the region, the official said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Obama administration • Pakistan • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. What???

    I getting nauseous over these GOP experts and pundits. i.e. John Leslie McCain (if that's his middle name – but who cares?)

    There are lives on the line. Our country is near a financial collapse and people are trying to make political capital and profits over bashing the president. They justify the "bashing" by saying the libs never supported Bush. That's completely disingenious at best and a complete lie at minimum. The American people began bashing Bush once we (the intelligent people) realized there was no plan and the Bush administration left the soldiers in Afghanistan high and dry to fight another war in Iraq.

    Give our current president a chance....for once...you uninformed, hypocritical wastes of good fresh air.

    December 2, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. BlogGod

    The "I"s have it and I believe it was about 48 of them uttered by PresBO after a little Bush bashing. OK, Bush was an idiot but no longer involved or culpable in any way for the actions being rolled out by PresBO. What was the objective over the next 3 years? Did I miss that? All of the deaths are on you now Sir "I", I hope you have a plan other than getting out in 3 years.

    December 2, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Hillary 2012

    What a weak speech from our weak and naive leader. We can only hope the military can take charge on their own. Hillary would have taken control long ago.

    December 2, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Beverly in NC

    I support President Obama and his intelligent thoughtful leadership. He takes the time to think and plan before he acts. He inherited the huge falied Bush wars and is trying to do the right thing to get our soldiers out of these wars that Bush and Cheney had no exit strategy for and have cost the country tens of thousands of soldiers lives and trillions of dollars.

    I'd like to know, with the terrain issues, why we just don't bomb into oblivion the border between Afghanistan and Pakista?. We will wipe out the Al Qaeda camps on the Pakistan border and not involve our soldiers in a long ground war. This is what we did in the Gulf War and it was over quickly because of it.

    December 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. mjm

    Great...does that mean we have to secure the border? Because we can't see to do that here in the states.

    December 2, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    Obama's Afghan policy is similar to the other policies, it shows that he has no idea as to what to do. He is like that rudderless ship being tossed about by a storm at sea.
    Our country has signaled to the rest of the world that America has no leadedship and is at the mercy of all who care to take advantage.

    December 2, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. howie

    The Talaban are loving the comitment date to cut and run. If I were the Talaban I would go find a good hiding place until 2011. What a dumb comment to come from the Commander in Chief.

    December 2, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    LOL! Even the German newspapers who were behind obama much like our media, is starting to call obama a liar. So much for gaining new respect in the eyes of the world with the community organizer you folks voted in huh?

    December 2, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Dar

    So if the Odumbo plan fails he can now say that Pakistan didn't do their part. What a loser, please go crwal in a hole and stay there for the next 3.2 years

    December 2, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Former Republican now proud Dem! Obama 2 Termer!

    Obama made the right call, when face with Bad, worse or worst options....he definitely did his best to walk a fine line! Obama 2 termer! Wise genius!

    December 2, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. R.B.

    I believe President Obama has taken the right stance on Pakistan and Afghanistan. By having an exit strategy with a timetable and benchmarks, the shady Afghan goverment is put on notice that the gravy train is not indefinite and unconditional as it was during the last GOP adimistration. Yes, of course, the 100 or so AL 'Qaeda terrorists reported there in the hills might plan to regroup come the due date for American withdrawl, but more importantly, the Afghan military/security will be forced to raise the bar to combat them during the next 18 months. It's so insanely inmoral to expect we can invade and remodel countries we don't like via self-righteousness means when we can't arrive at concensus here on virtually anything. The Afghans need to FINALLY STEP UP, and that is what Mr. Obama is asking them to do.

    December 2, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. bennie new york

    Pakistan is the key factor? Gee, when you're counting on a country whose government is as instable as the one you're fighting a war in, I'd say you're doomed to fail.

    December 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Bob

    With friends like Pakistan we dont really need enemies lol

    December 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |