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. Gary

    WOW. I love reading the liberal view of the world now that BO is the president. Can he do no wrong?

    For you bush haters: Bush got rid of a horrible dictator who kill hundred of thousands of his own people in Iraq, threatened us time after time. I am one who is proud of what he accomplished.

    BO: Yes Iran, we love you. We won't threaten you anymore. We want to hug you and pretend that you won't build nukes and kill the infidels.

    March 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. thomas

    just be relieved guys that your president understands the issue in the 'ghan and is willing to fight it, hoorah!!!!

    March 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Raphael

    T, you're wrong. The vast majority of Americans supported US actions in Afghanistan after 9/11. It's Iraq that most people opposed. Do not conflate the two. If anything, all the Bush supporters who heartily agreed with GW's actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and are now against what Obama is doing – they are the ones who are being partisan hypocrites whose concern is not America's real best interests.

    March 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. jones

    here's another point:

    If I have Osama in my pocket, would I give him up and afford to lose billions in aid. Nope. Keepin Osama in safe place pays the Pakistanis a lot !
    Think of the money, always

    March 29, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Kay Elegbede

    Great Obama, Strong President. He is not only strong in the economics but also strong in defence. Did I hear someone say Obama will be a one term President ? Nah. We are even going to call for the amendment of our constitution to make him President for 20 years. I Love it.

    March 29, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Vic

    It's utterly amazing. This guy in his deceitful campaign for the office he now holds repeatedly castigated W and his group for their war mongering and world domination ideas. Now, as if we are all idiots that have oompletely forgotten how this chump got into office, he is proposing to "invade" a (suspiciously) neutral country to kill selected high priority targets.,
    So, what;'s new? Nothing but socialism and deceitful oppression, not to mention the suddenly quick movement of the new guy and his group to take America into the world of socialism quickly.
    Wake up, America....

    March 29, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. HIndu

    Clear Pakistan and you've broken the backbone of Taliban. Pakistan should be wiped out completely, clear out all the nukes and take over their military bases. Bring peace to the world!

    March 29, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Edward

    He's fighting the war that should have been fought instead of the mistake that was the Iraq war. Obama never said that he was against wars ... he said that he was against dumb wars.

    March 29, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. kr

    This fool better be prepared foe the secalation of a war with Pakastan, and the reprocussions that go along with it! Just think, none of this may have been needed if Clinton was so much of a coward in dealing with terrorism!

    March 29, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Warren Schaich

    Obama is a terrific con artist. He is good at it, don't you think? The new boss like he old boss is on the lookout for new wars. No country is safe from the US war makers.
    As the US unleashes its' violence from the air, how many have been killed so far on Obama's watch? Oh, and how is all this good for the environment?

    March 29, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Raphael

    Gary, we're all happy Saddam is gone. We're not happy that Zarqawi and other Al Qaeda terrorists came into Iraq to take his place, killing more people in a shorter amoun t of time than Saddam did. We're also not happy that it's costing 1 trillion dollars and thousands of U.S. lives when we really should have been fighting Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda didn't come to Iraq until AFTER the US invasion. Bin Laden still has not been captured. He's the one who attacked us, not Saddam.

    March 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Patriot

    When are you people going to wake up and realize that there is no difference between most Republicans and Democrats? They are all beholden to big business and the international elites. A good start would be to abolish the Fed (a group of private bankers, not part of the government) which has been stealing our money since 1913. Also remember that the second amendment is a hedge against tyranny. Steal the money and then steal the guns. This is the plan, but you can help stop it.

    March 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Sgt Wag

    The Pakistan issue has always been the one issue I most associated to Obama's Naivety. Of course you go after targets in Pakistan. those of you touting how great this is should know this policy hasn't changed. What has changed is telling the Pakistani people America will dictate policy to your government. You have to give them plausible deniability. This is a recipe for disaster and can only result in another Pakistani government being brought down. The Pakistani government is being squeezed from both sides and if they are seen as kissing the ring of America they will be overthrown. The result will be one of two things: nukes in the hands of the new radical government or America embroiled in a REAL civil war.

    March 29, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. manhandler

    It's just as stupid and just as much of a huge waste of money we don't have to be in Afghanistan. Maybe someone can explain to me what the goal is (other than capturing one man) . So even if the unbelievable happened and the Taliban gave up (they won't) what would that accomplish? The end of terrorism? I think not. Terrorists are not in any one place. HELLO? 9/11 was planned in THIS country. This is unbelievable that a man that thought Iraq was such a mistake turns around and compounds it with this one. I thought this guy was supposed to be smart. NOT!!

    March 29, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. GOPer

    Good Job Obama. You're doing what Bush should have done. Because of Iraq and Bush's deal with Pakastin, Al Queda is now stronger today than before 9/11. Thank you for cleaning up yet another Bush disaster.

    March 29, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. SD,Michigan

    It;s a big difference btw "building a democracy in Iraq" Bush-style and actually pursuing Al-Quaeda and the terrorists. We should restrict our goals to what is needed and necessary, not "converting" to western-style democracy various countries that don't want it. Hope they get Osama if he's alive and bring down the terrorist groups.

    March 29, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. prosanto, Phoenix

    Is lam is the problem. Saudis are using the oil revenue to finance the Madarsas and Americans are greedy enough to sell/supply the arms to the Pakistanis and talliban(so called moderate) to be used against American soldiers and later against Indians in Kashmir.

    March 29, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. VETERAN ASU

    Have we not learned anything from history? Why does the president think we can send thousands of troops to a country and people that have never been defeated in the modern era?

    Did we not learn from the Soviet Union's attempts to invade Afghanistan? How many troops are we willing to send to their deaths in an "attempt" to defeat terrorism? As a military veteran I am completely appalled that a president that compaigned "change" is continuing this war on terrorism. The only way you may be successful in a war on terrorism is to make it a global effort.

    I thought we had learned our lessons when we elected a new president. He is sending the largest force to Afghanistan that we have seen in many years. Why does the American public seem ok with this? If it had been the Bush Administration promoting this there would be rioting in the streets. As responsible citizens we must not allow our president to continue with this policy. He is not going to "finish the job," he is continuing the mistakes of the Bush Administration. He believes he can win...and that is one scary concept.

    The only outcome will be a worsening economy, American spririt, troop morale, government debt and the most important...American deaths. We are repeating history with this invasion, and make no mistake about it, this is an invasion. How do you believe the rest of the world views this? It is complete arrogance and ethnocentrism by administrations to think we have the right to tell others how to live and run their own societies. Hopefully we will learn this before our own downfall becomes evident.

    March 29, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Edward

    The goal is to defeat Al Qaeda and promote a healthy democracy in Pakistan because if society there is healthy then recruitment for Al Qaeda wll dwindle. They recruit off of hate, this is why they didn't want Obama to win because they could then point to America and say that they are racist, look at how they treat their own citizens and inspire hatred in people who are poor and have no one else to turn to but them. You can be sure that they did not want Obama to win so that they can continue to label Americans ad inherently evil.

    March 29, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Janice

    Now that President Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan, isn't it ironic now that the republicans in Washington and their supporters around the country are the party of "cut and run"? I don't like our troops to be referred to as a paper tiger. They would be behind Bush 100% if he was the one making this move. Hopefully if Bin Laden wants to use that term paper tiger again, he will direct it towards the repubs of the U.S. I don't want this country revert back to being a safe haven for terrorists to conduct their training and launching attacks from, and the Taliban to take control again brutilizing women and girls. Besides Pakistan has nukes, and god forbid if Al Qaida gets their hands on them.

    March 29, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Erfan

    Guys ! Please understand there is a difference between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan is stable country, with all its institutions working. Pakistan has democracy functioning and pakistan is a nuclear state.

    Afghanistan is an unstable country because of Soviet era and internal political issues. The wars in Afghanistan has been going on and on for last three decades.

    I think Terrorists are trying to de-stabilize Pakistan and isolate Pakistan so they can get more recruits. I believe stable Pakistan is obligatory for the peace in the region and for the stability of US at this very moment.

    March 29, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Thom

    I wonder if President Obama and his closest advisors on Afghanistan have read the book by David Kilcullen titled: "The Accidental Guerilla?" I hope that they have. If they haven't, I hope that they will. And, if we are going to be honest with the American people, we need to tell them that a decision to continue in Afgfhanistan will in all likelihood involve a minimum of 10 more years of direct U.S. and allied involvement. This is the decision that the American people must make as the Army belongs to them. It is their sons and daughters who will bear this burden and it is the American people who will pay the costs. The American people need to let their elected representatives know how they feel about our continued involvement in Afghanistan. And, I would hope that many of them will do so after reading the book recommended above. This will help them in understandig the nature of the war and in making an informed decision as to whether it should be continued.

    March 29, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Virumal

    Untill America stop giving there intelligence to pakistan nothing is going to work.Pakistan ISI is very much mixed up with taliban and al qaueda..They do not want to kill this golden goose.They are black mailing this country so they can get more military aid which they are ultimately going to use against India.Pakistan is the one who created taliban and alqaida and it is law less country with nuclear bombs.Sooner or later they are going to give this device to enemy of Israel .They have ruined their country since independence with rivalary with India.USA should find out permanent route to supply for its forces.This great country should not depend on any intelligence from pakistan.

    March 29, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. jeff milligan

    This is not a situation where we have to defeat the Afghan people- they are on our side/we are on their side. We are not trying to topple a government. This is not an attempt to conquer the country- their government has wholeheartedly endorsed the approach. The mission is not to take the country, but to save it. You are comparing apples to oranges.

    March 29, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. RI Moderate

    Unfortunately Pakistan's Intellgence Service founded the Taliban. IF we consult with the Pakis before launch who are we hitting? Probably not valuable Talibaners

    March 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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