"If Afghanistan had the best government on earth, a drug-free culture and no corruption it would still be unstable if the situation in Pakistan remained as today. That is an indisputable fact, and that is the core of the dilemma that the Western nations, the NATO alliance, face today," he told The Wall Street Journal.
Holbrooke said it was very important to root out Taliban from Afghanistan. If it succeeded in Afghanistan, it would provide al-Qaeda an opportunity to regroup itself to pursue its primary motive against the United States more aggressively.
He added that the United States would respect the 'red lines' drawn by Islamabad regarding presence of foreign troops on its soil. And thus denied any suggestions that there would be a large scale war on terrorists in Pakistan soil.
"First of all we can't without their permission, and that would not be a good idea.", he said