CENTCOM chief Petraeus says US reserves 'Right of Last Resort' for threats inside Pak
Florida (US), Mar.31 (ANI): The head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General David Petraeus has said that while Washington will seek to build trust with Pakistan, the US military reserves the "right of last resort" to take out threats inside Pakistan.
In an interview with FOX News, General Petraeus said the U.S. military is putting "additional focus" on rooting out ties between Pakistan's intelligence service and the Taliban.
One incident of obvious cooperation between the Pakistani intelligence community and extremists has already been uncovered, he said.
But he said trust between the two countries will be key as President Obama seeks more Pakistani cooperation and calls for billions in aid to the country.
"I think we are building that kind of trust. And that's the way I think is the best description for that. And it's hugely important that that trust be built," Geenral Petraeus said, pointing to "gradually increasing intelligence sharing" among Afghan, Pakistani and U.S. forces along the border.
Obama, in unveiling his regional plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday, said the U.S. will "insist that action be taken, one way or another, when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets."
Asked about the president's comments, General Petraeus signaled that all options would be on the table.
"I think we would never give up, if you will, the right of last resort if we assess something as a threat to us, noting that what we want to do is enable the Pakistanis, help them, assist them to deal with the problem that we now think, and their leaders certainly now think, represents the most important existential threat to their country, not just to the rest of the world," he said.
Obama has announced that he's sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan and is requesting 1.5 billion dollars a year for the next five years in aid for Pakistan -- he is also planning to call for $2.8 billion just for Pakistan's military.
As to threats elsewhere in the region, General Petraeus said Iran is still "some years away" from a nuclear weapon. (ANI)