Petraeus Talks Pakistan
General David Petraeus, transitioning from his job as commander of forces in Afghanistan to the role of CIA director, said yesterday that the U.S.-Pakistan “relationship is in a difficult stage” thanks to the bin Laden raid, WikiLeaks and the arrest of Raymond Davis. He noted that Washington received “no intelligence whatsoever” indicating that Pakistani intelligence knew bin Laden was in their country, and that though Islamabad wants to fight insurgents, it is a bit limited. As Petraeus put it, “They have a lot of short sticks in hornets nests right now and they have to consolidate some of those gains.”
Some headway is being made in the ongoing dispute over the South China Sea. Chinese and ASEAN officials signed off on a new set of guidelines that will help bring about the full implementation of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct. The new guidelines were agreed to before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the meeting (she’ll be there today), but with the Philippines, for one, still questioning the agreement’s capacity to lower tensions, the topic may make another appearance. Meanwhile, Washington is “categorically” denying that Clinton will have a sitdown with North Korea’s foreign minister while she’s in Bali.
Clinton took some time out today to praise international law after the capture of Goran Hadzic, accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. As the secretary of state put it, “A powerful message has been sent to those around the world who would break the law and target civilians: you will not escape judgment.”
And the buzz of course wouldn’t be complete today without mentioning that White House spokesman Jay Carney confused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell. He caught his mistake.