« Previous | Next »  
U.S. Defense Secretary Asks Saudis for Help in Pakistan
May 05 | 2009

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- As the Obama administration prepares for talks this week with senior leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates flew to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to seek help in pushing back Taliban advances in Pakistan that, he said, threaten the very existence of the government in Islamabad.

Mr. Gates said Saudi Arabia "clearly has a lot of influence throughout the region," and he cited its "long-standing and close relationship with Pakistan."

The defense secretary called on Pakistan's allies across the region to assist in countering insurgent successes that represent a growing danger to Pakistan, and Mr. Gates said a goal of this week's meetings with Afghan and Pakistani leaders in Washington would be to reach consensus on the nature of the threat.

In the past, the Pakistani government and its military have been far more focused on their traditional adversary, India, than on the domestic insurgency.

As Mr. Gates concluded talks in Egypt earlier Tuesday, the shadow of Iran's regional ambitions prompted the defense secretary to declare that efforts by the Obama administration to seek better ties with Tehran would not jeopardize its relations with allies in the region.

He stressed that historic American partners in the Middle East would be kept fully informed of Washington's diplomatic efforts toward Iran. The Obama administration was undertaking that effort to reach out to Iran "with its eyes wide open," he said.

"If we encounter a closed fist when we extend our open hand, then we will react accordingly," Mr. Gates said. "Concerns out here of some kind of a 'grand bargain' developed in secret are completely unrealistic and, I would say, are not going to happen."


Bookmark and Share

To that end, Mr. Thompson said the next president should have the courage to talk straight with the American people and bluntly say that Americans will have to confront both the soaring cost of entitlements and the need to remain committed in the war on terror, even when Iraq is "in the rear-view mirror." "This is a battle between the forces of civilization and of evil," he said, noting that reports over the weekend of...
Though he never answered the question directly, Edwards said -- unconvincingly -- he would use every means available to "find terrorists where they are" and "stop them." But he is sticking by his position that the "war on terror" has just been a bumper sticker and political slogan used by President Bush to justify every nefarious act he has committed, from "the ongoing war in Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, spying on Americans, torture. " How...
The news of the Shakeri arrest came down from the State Department days after the United States held talks with Iran for the first time in 25 years. While I don't have easy answers ready for how to solve the problem that is a nuclear, jihadist Iran, I also have the hardest time squaring these negotiations with President George W. Bush's brave and morally clear insistence of "you're either with us or against us." He...
You remember the young electronics store clerk whose tip led the FBI to the six men plotting to murder American soldiers at Fort Dix. While copying a video tape onto DVD, he saw images of men firing guns and shouting Islamic slogans. For a while after the story broke, he kept his head down. Now Brian Morgenstern has come forward -- and his story is eye-popping. For a full day after seeing the evidence, he...
The bill's supporters simply should say, "The vast majority of these illegal immigrants are people here to work, and they aren't going to be forced to go home; therefore there is no humane and moral option besides giving them an amnesty." That would be admirably straightforward and obviate the need for complex, obfuscatory lawmaking. The bill gives pretty much every illegal alien here immediate legal status in the form of a probationary Z visa. That's...
Those blessed with common sense know there is a huge difference between public and private use of expletives. While the holiest among us might never utter an obscenity, most decent, even pious, individuals will use an occasional expletive in private under circumstances that can make its use morally, if not religiously, justifiable (as when using an expletive to describe some evil figure or after a heavy weight fell on one's toe). But higher civilization has...
Copyright © 2023, The Policy Forum for International Affairs. All rights reserved worldwide.
Sign Now!