Obama gathers top aides on Afghanistan, Pakistan
US President Barack Obama Tuesday gathered top national security and intelligence staff for his regular review of Afghan and Pakistan strategy, amid suggestions of fresh tensions with Islamabad.
Washington: US President Barack Obama
today gathered top national security and intelligence staff for his regular review of Afghan and Pakistan strategy, amid
suggestions of fresh tensions with Islamabad.
The talks, in the secure Situation Room of the White
House, went ahead amid a rumbling US disagreement with
Islamabad on the fight against militants in the volatile
Afghan-Pakistan border region.
At Obama`s side in the talks were Defense Secretary Robert Gates, UN ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and James Clapper, his director of national intelligence.
Vice President Joe Biden, top Afghan war General David
Petraeus and the US ambassadors to Pakistan and Afghanistan
joined the session via secure video-link, the White House
On Saturday, Pakistan`s army chief General Ashfaq
Kayani said that the "backbone" of Islamist militants in
Pakistan had been broken, despite US criticisms of his
country`s strategy against Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked rebels.
The White House criticised Pakistan`s efforts to
defeat the Taliban in its border regions, in a report
immediately rejected by Islamabad earlier in April.
Obama is also beginning to reach the point when he
must consider recommendations by the military for the promised
partial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan which he has
demanded from July this year.
However, his press spokesman Jay Carney said that
Monday`s session was not a "decisional" meeting, but was
rather a regular review of US policy.