The Washington Post writes this morning that “Adm. Mike Mullen’s assertion last week that an anti-American insurgent group in Afghanistan is a ‘veritable arm’ of Pakistan’s spy service was overstated and contributed to overheated reactions in Pakistan and misperceptions in Washington, according to American officials involved in U.S. policy in the region.”
Responding to the anonymous critics quoted by the Post, a senior aide to the Joint Chiefs chairman tells the newspaper that “the chairman stands by every word of his testimony.”
As we reported last Thursday, Mullen told Congress that “extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers.” He pointed in particular to the Haqqani Network, which Mullen said “has long enjoyed the support and protection of the Pakistani government and is, in many ways, a strategic arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.” That network was responsible for a Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul, officials believe.
Today, as Eyder reported earlier, Pakistan’s foreign minister tells Morning Edition that the U.S. and Pakistan “need each other” and are “fighting against the same people.”