“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.” — Barack Obama, August 2007.
“If we have actionable intelligence about high-level al Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s border region, we must act if Pakistan will not or cannot. Senator Clinton, Senator McCain, and President Bush have all distorted and derided this position, suggesting that I would invade or bomb Pakistan. This is politics, pure and simple. My position, in fact, is the same pragmatic policy that all three of them have belatedly – if tacitly – acknowledged is one we should pursue. Indeed, it was months after I called for this policy that a top al Qaeda leader was taken out in Pakistan by an American aircraft.” — Barack Obama, March 2008.
Today, the Telegraph reports:
The Obama administration is considering suspending drone attacks against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants inside Pakistan because it fears they are undermining the critically weak government.
During the campaign, it was easy for Obama to attack the Bush administration for coddling Pakistan as one way of exuding strength, thus giving him cover for his views on withdrawing from Iraq and unconditionally negotiating with rogue regimes. But now that he’s president, he’s starting to realize the fragile situation that exists in Pakistan, where the policy options range from bad to worse, and suddenly it isn’t so easy to risk the fall of a flawed government that is nonetheless better than the alternative of having Islamic extremists in control of nuclear weapons.