"We remain ready, willing and able to assist the Pakistanis and to partner with them, to provide additional training, to conduct joint operations, should they desire to do so," Gates said on Thursday.
He also made it clear that his country was open to providing more direct assistance.Asked if he envisaged
'Act of war'
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said Gates's suggestion would anger most Pakistanis.
: "The Pakistani people believe that it is only their armed forces that are able to handle the continued violence in the tribal region."
"Musharraf himself said that if foreign intervention is applied, it would be construed as an act of war.
"But ultimately, the government believes that an end to the conflict is via a political solution - not a military one - and it should not be dictated from overseas."
Let me tell you something about military leadership -- and this goes for the appointed civilian leadership at the Pentagon, as well: they don't publicly engage in idle speculation. If they're talking about it, they're planning it, and they're almost certainly going to do it. It's just a matter of time before we have a long-term military presence in Pakistan. My next deployment, perhaps?
I just predicted a few weeks ago that we were going to be going to Pakistan. I told my supervisor to expect it. She and a few others I work with were a bit incredulous about that prediction, but I stated that Pakistan was a nuke state which we couldn't afford to allow to fall to the Taliban or other people who are less than friendly to U.S. interests. Considering Pakistanis are now fleeing to Afghanistan, it struck me as only a matter of time before we sent troops over there. Truth be told though, I didn't expect it to happen quite so quickly.
If Musharraf gives them any push-back on this, expect to start hearing from the White House about how this current "important ally in the War on Terror" is suddenly an evil, terrorist-sympathizing tyrant.
Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.