US not ready to wait for Pakistan


The United States through an unending series of drone strikes in volatile North Waziristan is sending a message to Pakistan that if it fails to wipe out the Taliban from the tribal belt, they are ready to do it themselves, says The Christian Science Monitor. “If you won’t take on the Taliban and other extremists, crossing over to fight in Afghanistan, we will.”
The Obama administration has stepped up drone strikes inside Pakistan over the past year – in particular in the North Waziristan region abutting Afghanistan in recent months. Pakistani officials have called publicly for the strikes to cease, insisting they alienate the general population.
At the same time, the Pakistani military has also promised – as recently as late May – that an offensive against North Waziristan’s havens was imminent. But no such offensive into North Waziristan, stronghold of groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, has been launched. Referring to the latest drone attacks that killed to 21 militants, the newspaper says the US has no intention of waiting. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that even though conducting diplomatic relations with Pakistan can be a “very outraging experience,” there remain compelling national security and regional stability reasons for the US to offer Pakistan substantial defence and development assistance. He views were shared by Republican Senator Richard Lugar.
But Clinton also said she told Pakistan during her recent trip to the country that the US had set benchmarks for Pakistan to meet including an aggressive stance against terrorist groups and supporting reconciliation in Afghanistan. The drone strikes also convey a message that the US has certain expectations of the relationship – and that the US will not sit by if it determines its national security is threatened, as President Obama stated in his June 22 speech on Afghanistan policy. “So long as I am president, the United States will never tolerate a safe haven for those who aim to kill us,” Obama said.