Even with the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bigger challenge in the global war on terrorism is the threat posed by extremists in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the commander of U.S. forces in that region said Thursday.
Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, told a group of reporters that Pakistan has been a vital ally in the war on terror and should continue to receive as much U.S. assistance as it needs to defeat extremism.
He added, however, that it was not a matter that could be resolved by U.S. military power.
“It is a battle of ideas as much as it is a military battle,” he said, “and we”ve got to help him fight that battle,” referring to Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who has survived two recent assassination attempts.
“In Saudi Arabia the same thing is taking place, and you see day after day an increase in military operations and terrorist operations in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Arabian government is working very hard to defeat the terrorist threat,” Abizaid said.