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Former US govt official advised Clinton to target Pakistan military officials “supporting al-Qaeda”
Former national security adviser Sandy Berger on October 3, emailed Clinton with a provocative proposal: the United States should take targeted measures against military officials in Pakistan, nominally a U.S. ally, who support al Qaeda.
“Assuming we have adequate intelligence, we can go after bank accounts, travel and other reachable assets of individual Pakistani officers, raising the stakes for those supporting the militants without creating an inordinate backlash,” he wrote.
“Thanks, Sandy. This is very helpful,” Clinton replied. Through a spokesman, Berger declined comment on Wednesday.
There’s no evidence Berger’s idea gained traction. But on a trip to Pakistan later that month, Clinton came close to accusing Pakistan of sheltering terrorists, publicly voicing a U.S. suspicion normally whispered in private.
“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are, and couldn’t get to them if they really wanted to,” she told Pakistani journalists.
The email exchanges took place during a wrenching Obama White House debate over sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Obama, elected on a promise to end U.S. ground wars, had already deployed 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and was weighing the military’s request for tens of thousands more. – Reuters