Politics

Graham Doesn't Rule Out Military Action Against Pakistan if No Crack Down on Extremists

Key Republican lawmaker on 'Fox News Sunday'

 

WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday wouldn't rule out U.S. military action if Pakistan's intelligence agencies continue supporting terrorists who are attacking American forces.

Outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen last week accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of backing the Haqqani network, a terror group active in Afghanistan but based out of Pakistan who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan and detonated a truck bomb that wounded scores of American soldiers.

Arguing that Pakistan has made a "tremendous miscalculation" in allowing the Haqqanis to operate without consequence, Graham said the U.S. won't make the same mistake with Pakistan.

"The sovereign nation of Pakistan is engaging in hostile acts against the United States and our ally Afghanistan that must cease. I will leave it up to the experts, but if the experts believe that we need to elevate our response, they will have a lot of bipartisan support on Capitol Hill," the South Carolina senator told "Fox News Sunday."

White House senior adviser David Plouffe said Mullen and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with their counterparts in Pakistan last week and made the point that safe havens and support for the Haqqani Network will not be abided.

But Plouffe wouldn't say if the U.S. would cut aid to Pakistan if it didn't crack down on the Haqqanis.

Graham, who's on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the relationship with Pakistan is flawed but is not spoiled to the point of abandonment. However, he did suggest that the U.S. could "reconfigure" assistance to Pakistan.

"No longer are we to designating an amount of aid to Pakistan. We're going to have a more transactional relationship," Graham said.