In an interview today with the BBC, President Obama reiterated the position spelled out by White House spokesmen in the wake of the Abbottabad raid earlier this month. He promised that he would launch more unilateral raids into Pakistan whenever he felt they were required.
Incredibly Obama insisted that he expected the raid to be “a wake-up call where we start seeing a more effective cooperative relationship with Pakistan.” Pakistan has condemned the threats for more attacks and ordered the CIA and military to withdraw all but the bare minimum forces from their nation.
Indeed it seems that not so much the raid but the administration’s attitude since the raid, the promises of repeat performances and the almost taunting comments by top Pentagon officials, have put US-Pakistani relations in their worst situation in many years.
Obama’s comments could be summed up with one direct quote: “we are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan, but …” It is the various caveats which come after that “but” which ensure that relations will be far from stable in the near term.