Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Glenn Kessler
During today's briefing on President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a reporter asked a question that elicited an unusual nonanswer from Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Q: Can I ask about the question of corruption with regard to Pakistan? The President alluded today to some problems in getting Pakistanis to respond when we have high-level intelligence -- or have intelligence about high-level terrorists, and he said, "We will insist that action be taken." Does that mean if the Pakistanis will act, we will not -- and if they do not, we will?
AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE: I just don't think we can answer that question. It's speculative, it's hypothetical, and it would be deeply injurious to our national interest to speculate. But I appreciate the importance of the question, and that's all we're ready to say.
Q: Can you say something about what the President meant by that?
AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE: No.
In other words, the answer was "yes."
Between the Lines...is an occasional feature looking at the language of official Washington.
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March 27, 2009; 6:16 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , Between the Lines , Foggy Bottom
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