Obama convenes situation room meeting on Pakistan
Fully focussed on finding the “right strategy” for the Af-Pak region to achieve his goal of defeating the al-Qaeda and Taliban, US President Barack Obama has convened a “situation room meeting” on Pakistan with his top aides tomorrow. The Obama Administration now believes that it is important to have the right strategy for Pakistan as most of the top al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are in the tribal areas of the country bordering Afghanistan. The meeting would be focused primarily on Pakistan, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said.
Besides Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the meeting would be attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Defence Secretary Robert Gates; US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice; Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen; and Central Command Commander, General David Petraeus.
Mr. Gibbs said those who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US have now moved across the border into Pakistan. “I don’t have the agenda with me. This one is going to focus on Pakistan, but without getting into detail, yes, the President was and many that were staffing the meeting understood what needed to be prepared for this one,” Mr. Gibbs said when asked about the agenda of the meeting.
The White House spokesman said the Obama Administration has been trying to accomplish the mission of disrupting, dismantling and ultimately destroying al-Qaeda and its extremist allies. National Security Adviser, General (Retd) James Jones, his Deputy Tom Donilon; Director of National Intelligence Admiral (Retd) Dennis Blair; CIA Director Leon Panetta; and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Counter—terrorism and Homeland Security, would also participate in the deliberations during the situation room meeting.
General Stanley McChrystal, US Commander in Afghanistan; Karl Eikenberry, US Ambassador to Afghanistan; and Anne Patterson, US Ambassador to Pakistan, would take part in the meeting through secure video conferencing. Obama is also scheduled to meet top Congressional leaders at the White House.
The focus is on ensuring that the US keeps the fight on al-Qaeda’s global network and takes on the terror network and its extremist allies. “The group of people that attacked us through al-Qaeda on 9/11 and is planning through intent, actively planning and intending to try to attack us ... mostly are now (based) in the country of Pakistan,” Mr. Gibbs told reporters in response to a question.
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