The big news out of Washington this morning was that the White House has confronted Pakistan about their lame efforts in going after terrorists within their borders:
President Bush has decided to send an unusually tough message to one of his most important allies, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces become far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with Al Qaeda, senior administration officials say…
American intelligence officials have concluded that the terrorist infrastructure is being rebuilt, and that while Pakistan has attacked some camps, its overall effort has flagged…
For the time being, officials say, the White House has ruled out unilateral strikes against the training camps that American spy satellites are monitoring in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal areas on the border. The fear is that such strikes would result in what one administration official referred to as a “shock to the stability” of General Musharraf’s government. [Link]
p>I find some humor in the fact that Bush is telling Musharraf to be worried that the Democrats will be more stern than him. It is a little like a mother saying, “you better shape up or you will be in big trouble with daddy.”
p>The Blotter reports additional details:
In a highly unusual move, the deputy director of the CIA, Stephen R. Kappes, was flown to Pakistan to personally present President Pervez Musharraf today with “compelling” CIA evidence of al Qaeda’s resurgence on Pakistani soil, U.S. officials say.
Kappes joined Vice President Dick Cheney for the surprise showdown meeting in Musharraf’s office in Pakistan.
The CIA evidence reportedly included satellite photos and electronic intercepts of al Qaeda leaders operating in Pakistan. [Link]
Of course, we all know that if El General goes down then things could get a lot worse in Pakistan. And so the dance continues (at least until daddy comes home).