Obama gets 'comprehensive' Pakistan update

WASHINGTON- US President Barack Obama got a "comprehensive" update on the political situation in Pakistan Wednesday during the latest meeting of his Afghan war council, an official said.
Obama summoned top military, political and intelligence aides to the secure White House Situation Room for a third in-depth session on the war in Afghanistan as he mulls whether to deploy up to 40,000 more troops.

Obama gets 'comprehensive' Pakistan update
"It was a comprehensive update on the situation in Pakistan," a US official said, on condition of anonymity, of the meeting, which took place on the eighth anniversary of the first US air strikes on Afghanistan.
"The president received a comprehensive intelligence and counterterrorism assessment, as well as an assessment of the political and diplomatic situation," said the official.
"The president continues to look for ways to improve cooperation and to continue disrupting, dismantling and defeating Al-Qaeda."
While admitting that the situation in Afghanistan had deteriorated in recent months, Obama aides have been complimentary on efforts by the Pakistani government and military on fighting extremism.
Wednesday's White House talks included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, top military brass, and US intelligence chiefs.
Afghan war commander General Stanley McChrystal joined in the discussions by video link.
Obama's next detailed briefing on the situation in the war, and the possible way forward, is back in the Situation Room on Friday.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that meeting could include the first discussion on troop levels in Afghanistan, following McChrystal's warning that the war could be lost within a year without more soldiers.
The Pentagon said Wednesday that Gates had forwarded the request to Obama last week. It is expected to still be several weeks before the president makes a final decision.
Republicans are calling on Obama to satisfy the McChrystal request as soon as possible, but many senior Democrats warn that there is little support in Congress for sending more troops into the increasingly bloody war.

Thursday, October 8th 2009

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