ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — America’s top military officer visited Pakistan’s capital on Tuesday, carrying what he called a strong sense of “strategic impatience” with the government here over its failure to clear insurgents from border havens where they prepare lethal attacks against American and allied forces in Afghanistan.
The officer, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized that the United States and Pakistan have common interests in combating insurgent and militant group: They are weakening the American-led military effort in the 9-year-old Afghanistan war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and they are killing Pakistani civilians as they seek to undermine the government in Islamabad.
“The extremist organizations that are killing Pakistani nationals are a huge challenge to them,” Admiral Mullen said during an interview with a small group of American correspondents. “We all have a sense of urgency about this. We are losing people.”
The problem, he said, is how to manage the need to halt cross-border insurgent attacks while helping build Pakistan’s capabilities to battle domestic insurgents — and to convince the Pakistan government that domestic terrorism is a greater threat than the one perceived from rival India.
“We want to solve it overnight,” Admiral Mullen said. “There is a strategic impatience on the part of myself and others. For the long-term relationship, there has got to be strategic patience. And there is a tension there. I think we both understand that.” [...]
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Sic vis pacem para bellum