March 29th, 2009
11:07 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama: U.S. remains prepared to pursue targets in Pakistan

The president discussed Pakistan during a television appearance Sunday.

The president discussed Pakistan during a television appearance Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Sunday that his administration remains prepared to order strikes against "high-value" targets within Pakistan.

Obama reiterated a previous assertion that the U.S. military would pursue extremists within Pakistan's borders after consulting with the Pakistani government.

The U.S. policy doesn't change American recognition of Pakistan's "sovereign government," Obama said during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation." But the United States needs to hold that government "more accountable."

"This is going to be hard," he added. "I'm under no illusions."

Obama said his administration remains determined to weaken or destroy al Qaeda until it no longer presents a threat to the United States.

He added that his administration is prepared to constantly adjust its strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan as necessary.

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Filed under: Pakistan • President Obama
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Mike

    These people have been fighting with each other and among themselves for hundreds of years. You remove one from power and another will rise to take their place as has always happened in the past. To do nothing to protect the U.S. is foolish but to expect to rid yourself of the threat these type of people are capable of is foolish also. So many have been taught since birth to hate the Western influence that they are willing to do anything to destroy it. Getting to Bin Laden can and should have already happened but do not expect the threat to weaken with his removal for long. It has become a popular opinion that NOW we are there to protect our oil intrests. When we pull out there will still be a threat and there will still be extreme turmoil there. This is the way it is and the way they are. Some things you cannot change. Instead of pulling our troops out it seems we are about to get even deeper in. God be with and watch over our troops until we can get them home.

    March 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Shiv Danush

    There is a wrong perception that the Afghans cannot be defeated. But it is wrong. In the past, Alexander the great, Nadir Shah, Taimur Lane, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, British have all defeated them. The Afghans were Buddhists (the true religion of peace) before they were conquered by Muslims and forcibly converted to Islam. Right now, the Taleban are winning because of the massive double game by Pakistan. The Nukes of Pakistan should be taken out; the source of revenues through poppy sales to the Taleban should be neutralized, then peace can come to that region.

    March 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Ali

    They've been killing high-valued targets for last 8 years and the problem is still not solved. Until US realizes killing people to save your ass won't solve this issue. Stopping one war and starting another is not a way to deal with this. Obama will fail in Afghanistan as Bush failed in Iraq.

    March 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Raw

    What a fancy way to say "we are continuing with yet another Bush plan"

    Obama the Diet Coke of change

    March 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Erfan

    Negotiations I think is the only solution to this problem, however the intelligence and tagerted military strikes should not end to hit the key targets.

    Just by doing military strikes, US has gained negative perception in the region since it has killed a large number of civilians. By bringing development and prosperity within the region, US can eliminate all terrorists.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Sak8

    The president needs to be careful as Pakistan, like Iraq, is a very volatile country that has a lot of tribal areas not controlled by govt. If US angers these groups, it may create a bad situation in Pakistan and also the neighboring countries.

    Obama, please think before doing anything. Our faith and wishes r wid u.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Jade from IN

    give the guy a chance! He's done the best possible job that anyone could do right now. Don't tell Me McCain, or anyone else you wanted to be president would be doing any better. He just needs time!

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Dave

    BO is just leaving his options open. He needs somewhere to lob a few cruise missiles when he gets caught with some intern, as he learned from Bill.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Alfred Hussein Neuman

    Yeah, right. BOH has conceded to other countries at every point – the latest is telling North Korea that we have no intentions in interring with their launch of a test missile. But he's going to attack places in Pakistan. A country that is not at war with the US. The only way that will happen is if Pakistan asks us to bomb some village.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Paul

    I want all of you experts to PROVE that we cannot fight two wars in two countries where we are fighting people in dresses. get off your podiums the US Military can fight two wars at the same time probably can fight 10 wars at the same time. Thank God you guys weren't around when WW2 started. You cowards would have all been sitting there crying trying to figure out what to do. We have over 1 MILLION troops, to think we cannot deploy somwhere around 200k of them in the Middle East is just plain ignorant.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Eric

    A world economy with global mobility will require us to have a global police force – bad guys are bad guys and will eventually threaten all of us. We need to think of this as one planet – not a country or even region specific as some still cultures still do.

    March 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Derek

    Bush did not fail because of his lack of "pursuing" or "killing" Bin Laden. He failed period as a human and a president. Which in turn leaves President Obama still getting criticized for the mistakes of the last 8 yrs of the Bush reign. We as a nation can only hope that President Obama will make the right decisions based on continual input bye the voice and cries of the American people. God bless this great nation.

    March 29, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Steve

    I'm starting to have a lot misgivings about the decision I made at the polls back in November of 2008. It's kind of like being an employer and hiring someone, only to realize shortly thereafter you've made a mistake. The problem is, we can't fire this employee for 4 years.

    March 29, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. luan isuffi

    Obama is doing things intelligently not like this moron Bush.
    Those arrogant but incompetent bushies have zero accomplishment to show for 8 years in office.

    March 29, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Ed

    I love the comments: "this is nothing new, it's the same thing Bush did"..."imagine if Bush had done this, you liberals would've crucified him". Can't have it both ways, people. Those of us who have been paying attention know that this was Bush's policy, and no, we didn't crucify him for it. The criticism of Bush in Afghanistan was that he didn't do enough. This policy was discussed ad nauseum on the campaign trail, it's old news...wake up.

    March 29, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Raph

    debbie – how is Afghanistan a bigger War than Iraq? You're completely wrong. And Obama didn't start either war – Bush started them both. Obama is just continuing to go after America's real enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's you who doesn't have a clue. Sorry.

    Randy and Scott AZ: The Afghanistan campaign is one thing Obama said he would NOT change – except to refocus on it and put more resources there where Bush did not. He never said he'd withdraw from Afghanistan or anything – and why should he? The people who attacked us are still hiding there and in Pakistan.

    stephen – you don't know what you're talking about. Every US attack in Pakistan is sanctioned by the Pakistani government altho they don't admit it. In fact US drones are based in Pakistan!

    March 29, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Paul

    "This is going to be hard," he added. "I'm under no illusions."

    Great quote from a neophyte Mamas boy..............Great leadership just what we want to hear. This guy sis a disaster.

    March 29, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Walter

    Can't we simply drop enough bunker busters to collapse all those tunnels in that area. Obviously we can't go in all of them but we should be able to collapse them. End of hideout.

    March 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. NMAPhiDelt484

    SOOO many "experts"!

    March 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. John Morgan

    Where's the "change"?

    March 29, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. JFelber

    Terrorism an idea? Terrorism is an idea that is then put into action. If terrorism were only an idea, the twin towers would still be standing.

    March 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. jack frost

    Afghanistan is what Bush SHOULD have addressed, not Iraq. We have no choce but to dismantle and destroy Al Qaeda and the Taliban entirely wherever they are. Killing Bin Laden alone is not the answer since others will fill the leadership void.

    March 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. DrQ

    I think Obama deserves a lot of credit for going after extremeists where they are, at the source. Unlike Bush who totally dropped the ball and followed dollar signs when he attacked Iraq, who had nothing to do with 911 or Al Qaeda. Iraq was cursed with oil, bush & company's greed, and American debt. On top of it all there have been at least 650,000 Iraqis killed for 'freedom.' For anyone who defends Bush's policy, please justify this number to me. If you cant do that, how about justifying our $300,000,000/day cost to fund that war?????????

    March 29, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. jones

    Ok guys here's a lesson:

    Pakistan and Afghanistan are NOT middle east

    March 29, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. BC

    Eric- how true! Furthermore, the concept of a moderate Taliban is an oxymoron. At the end of the day, any fundamentalist followers of Islam believe that those who don't believe as they do are infidels and deserve to die. Negotiation is not an feasible nor realistic option.

    March 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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