March 29th, 2009
12:52 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama aides talk frankly about lack of trust with Pakistan

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.

Filed under: Pakistan • Richard Holbrooke • State of the Union
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Pakistan is a home to terrorists

    I feel bad for the Paki people, but they need to take care of their country or someone else will

    you become a home to terrorists and other countries will go after them

    March 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. yisambi

    Hey,i think it is time for US to take more action in Pakistan since the Pakistan government have failed to do it part, not only that its better to send ground troops to sweep those border town

    March 29, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Pakistan is a notoriously unreliable double-agent and Afghanistan is 90% of the world's heroin dealer. Remind me why we're there again?

    March 29, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Peter E

    Question: who is in charge in Pakistan? It sure isn't the civilian authority who is bullied around, and who allowed the Taliban to live freely within their borders. We need to work with their military commanders. People with real power.

    March 29, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Saul- Virginia

    I have so much faith in general patreaus. He is smart cool and to the point. I think he is a great match with president Obama. i feel very proud to be an AMerican with such great leaders!!

    March 29, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. JonDie

    Pakistan has no reason to ever trust the US and vice versa, especially when it comes to India, Pakistan's chief historical rival. We are two very different countries with almost NOTHING in common now nor are we likely to have much in common in the future. Our actions regarding Pakistan should be based on OUR needs, not Pakistan's.

    March 29, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. ex-obama supporter

    there will be no solution in afghan/pakistan conflict while prohibition is the law of the land, and big oil rules the world. how can we sustain funding for both sides of the conflict? this is not, doable. get out now, and put an end to the waste with all 3 of the failed wars we're fighting ,so we can focus squarely on the terrorists. they are not just in that region. they are global! our government officials from both parties are failures.

    March 29, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. rick,alabama

    We need to get out of their now.They will be so busy killing each other,like they where for the last 2000 years,that the USA will be a distant memory and all their resources will be fighting each other not us.

    March 29, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Texas Teacher

    ... I guess we could just try Bush/Cheney's plan... just charge in there with no plan and buy off whomever we can!

    I suspect there is nothing Obama can do that will be worse than Bush and Cheney! At least he has a plan... he hasn't jumped on an aircraft carrier yet declaring that the battle is won!

    March 29, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    There is something definately fishy going on.....wise to be cautious...

    March 29, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |