We’re sending mixed signals. No we’re not. Yes we are. Okay, maybe. Definitely maybe. Maybe a little.
Washington (CNN) — The top U.S. military officer is reassuring his Pakistani counterpart that the U.S. military is not pressuring the Pakistani army to increase its operations against the Taliban there, a senior U.S. military official said.
The message comes as the United States has turned up independent evidence that ties the suspect in the attempted bombing in New York’s Times Square to the insurgent group. It stands in sharp contrast to tough talk from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who warned of “consequences” if the Times Square plot is linked to elements in Pakistan.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, chief of the Pakistani army, to discuss the matter Sunday.
Mullen called to “reassure Kayani we are not trying to pressure him as a result of this case,” a senior U.S. military official said. “Mullen didn’t call to say, ‘You gotta do more because this Pakistani-American was trained on your territory.’ “
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, met with Kayani as well, and his spokesman denied McChrystal made any effort to pressure the Pakistani official.
Clinton publicly took a tougher line, saying on the CBS program “60 Minutes”: “We’ve made it very clear that if — heaven forbid — an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”
Why wait for another massacre, national tragedy, and the ensuing economic and geopolitical fallout?
The senior U.S. military official was adamant in saying the U.S. military is not trying to make the Pakistanis accelerate their timetable to move against Taliban strongholds in North Waziristan, a border region long believed to be sheltering al Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Kayani has repeatedly said his troops would not expand their operations into North Waziristan until they have finished operations in other areas.
“We are very comfortable with the work they have been doing and where they are at the moment,” the senior official said…