`Obama believes cancer of terrorism is in Pak`

US Prez Barack Obama believed that the "cancer of terrorism" was in Pakistan, according to a new book.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 16:22 PM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama
believed that the "cancer of terrorism" was in Pakistan and
the war on terror in Afghanistan could not be won without
attacking and eliminating the al Qaeda and Taliban safe havens
in the Pakistani tribal belt, according to a new book.

The soon-to-be-released book entitled `Obama`s War`,
written by noted journalist Bob Woodward, says that the then
Director of National Intelligence had told Obama soon after
his victory in the November 2008 presidential elections that
Pakistan was a "dishonest" and "unwilling partner" in the war
on terrorism.

The book, which claims that the Obama administration is
sharply divided on the Afghan policy, is set to be released on
Monday.

Two days after he was elected as President, Obama was
told by Mike McConnell, the then Director of National
Intelligence, that Pakistan was not trustworthy.

At McConnell`s top-secret briefing for Obama, the
intelligence chief told the President-elect that Pakistan was
a dishonest partner, unwilling or unable to stop elements of
its intelligence service from giving clandestine aid, weapons
and money to the Afghan Taliban, Woodward wrote in the book,
according to `The Washington Post`.

By the end of the 2009 strategy review, Obama concluded
that no mission in Afghanistan could be successful without
attacking the al Qaeda and Afghan-Taliban havens operating
with impunity in Pakistan`s remote tribal region, the daily
said citing the book.

"We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in
Pakistan," Obama is quoted as saying at an Oval Office meeting
on November 25, 2009.

Creating a more secure Afghanistan is imperative, the
President said, "so the cancer doesn`t spread" there, the
paper reported quoting from the book.

"The war in Iraq draws no attention in the book, except
as a reference point for considering and developing a new
Afghanistan strategy.

"The book`s title, `Obama`s Wars,` appears to refer to
the conflict in Afghanistan and the conflicts among the
President`s national security team," it said.

The book discloses that the CIA created, controlled and
paid for a clandestine 3,000-man paramilitary army of local
Afghans, known as Counter-terrorism Pursuit Teams.

"Woodward describes these teams as elite, well-trained
units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into
Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qaeda and
Afghan-Taliban havens there," the paper said.

PTI