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David Petraeus Interview: ‘Trump’s Pak Tweet an Accumulation of Many Administrations’ Frustration’

    Author:
  • Sushant Singh
| Jan. 29, 2018

General David Petraeus (retired), who was head of the CIA from 2010 to 2011, commanded the US-led multinational force in Iraq from 2007 to 2008 and the coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, besides being head of US military’s Central Command from 2008 to 2010. Currently a partner in a New York investment firm, KKR, he was in India recently. Excerpts from an interview:

What do you think led to President Trump’s New Year tweet on Pakistan?

The President’s tweet represented an accumulation of frustration, and probably not just with his administration but building on the accumulation of previous administrations where many of us were trying very hard to, frankly, to help our Pakistani partners, as they were combating the TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), dealing with some of the other extremists inside their country that many of us believe represent the most significant existential threat to Pakistan… I remember Ambassador Holbrooke and I working hard with Congress to get additional economic assistance for them, to get additional Coalition Support Funds and security assistance and in that, folks in Washington would say, ‘What is this giddiness? Why are they not taking action against the sanctuaries of the Taliban in Quetta?’… I think that there has been a constant re-examination of it… why we are working so hard to help Pakistan. Again, in late 2008, I personally went, as a general, to the World Bank president to say that you need to help Pakistan, their foreign reserves are dwindling, this is a bigger concern to me than actually the military situation. There has not been the kind of action we had all hoped to be taken to reduce, to eliminate the sanctuaries from which the forces that are causing such problems in Afghanistan are being organised, led, commanded and also provisioned and taken care of from time to time.

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For Academic Citation: Singh, Sushant. “David Petraeus Interview: ‘Trump’s Pak Tweet an Accumulation of Many Administrations’ Frustration’.” News, The Indian Express, January 29, 2018.

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