9/11 masterminds hiding in Pakistan, Afghanistan: Obama

March 28th, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama New York, Mar 28 (ANI): President Barack Obama Pak-Afghan policy, which could be his signature foreign policy effort, said that al Qaeda terrorists are hiding in Pakistan and Afghanistan and he wants them to defeat them in their safe havens to prevent their return in future.

Obama said he would increase aid to Pakistan and would, for the first time, set benchmarks for progress in fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban in both countries, the New York Times reported.

“The United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives,” Obama said.

“So let me be clear: Al Qaeda and its allies - the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks - are in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.

“We have a clear and focused goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future,” Obama added.

Part of Obama’s plan includes sending hundreds of additional diplomats and civilian experts into the region.

Admiral Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, submitted a classified review to the president, and among its 13 recommendations were to increase the number of American ground forces, with significant emphasis on “enablers,” such as the new training teams.

During the 90-minute debate last Friday afternoon, Obama, flanked by his national security adviser, General James L. Jones, on his left, and Biden on his right, went around the table to elicit the final views of his national security team.

During the debate, the senior administration officials said, Biden sought to put strict parameters on the size of the additional force deployed to Afghanistan and to ensure there was a specific mission for them. Biden also cast the debate in terms of what was achievable in Obama’s first term, administration officials said.

Obama is dispatching Admiral Mullen and Holbrooke to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India next week to explain his new strategy to leaders there, the NYT reported. (ANI)

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