US Won’t Rule Out Military Incursion Into Pakistan
Homeland Security Secretary Fran Townsend refused to rule out a US military incursion into Pakistan’s remote border with Afghanistan to eradicate a resurgent Al Qaeda militant network. “The president has made perfectly clear that job number one is protecting the American people. There are no tools off the table, and we use all our instruments of national power to be effective,” she told CNN television, when asked whether Washington would resort to military action to disable the network’s Pakistan outpost. There is “no question that we will use any instrument at our disposal to deal with the problem of Osama bin Laden and (Ayman Al )Zawahiri and Al Qaeda,” Townsend said, naming the leaders and second-in-command of the network that carried out the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
Fran TownsendHer comments came after a major US intelligence report, the National Intelligence Estimate, concluded in findings released last week that Al Qaeda has regenerated, and is redoubling its efforts to get operatives inside the United States. US President George W. Bush on Saturday linked the US global campaign against Al Qaeda to Pakistan’s efforts to quell Islamist violence, including the storming of a pro-Taleban mosque last week. In his weekly radio address Saturday, US President George W. Bush expressed full US support for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s efforts “to rid all of Pakistan of extremism” including an Al Qaeda “safe haven” in tribal areas. But the US leader called the establishment of such enclaves ”troubling.”