Did President Bush Authorize Ground Assaults in Pakistan?

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This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," September 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: The global War on Terror is focused today lots of activity is taking place in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Pakistani troops today claimed that they killed up to 100 militants in the northwestern tribal area near the border of Afghanistan.

Now, this comes as we learn that President Bush reportedly approved orders allowing U.S. Special Operations to conduct ground attacks in Pakistan without the permission of that country's government.

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So, how will this affect the war in the region?

We're joined by FOX News contributor, Colonel David Hunt. He's a former green beret and who spent a whole bunch of time in that region.

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Colonel Hunt, thanks for joining us tonight. How likely is it that Pakistan had no idea about this mission that was taking place?

COL. DAVID HUNT, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I think we told them, intelligence sources told them and CIA told them. We didn't ask permission. We told them we were coming.

This particular unit you're talking about was called "detachment one." It's a Marine Corps Special Operations Unit. And the operation has got some problems with it. There's allegations of civilian deaths. But overall, it's much more aggressive on our part, the U.S.'s part to finally go after the safe havens in Pakistan. You cannot solve what's going on in Afghanistan without solving the border region along the Pakistan-Afghani border.

NAUERT: OK. Now, some of our guys have been going into Pakistan for years, in fact, very quietly, but what is different about this? Are we are seeing it just on a larger scale?

HUNT: We're seeing — yes. We're seeing a more directed concentrated effort. The realization that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have grown in strength inside the Pakistan border, partly because we do not have the political will to go after them. Now, we seem to be — as we're winding down in Iraq — we seem to be putting what needs to be now pressure on the Afghanistan situation, which has gotten, for now, decidedly worse over the last two to three years.

NAUERT: OK. Now, Pakistan has a new president, apparently the U.S. supports this guy, but is he going to be any tougher, any more willing to cooperate with us than President Musharraf was, who we gave a whole bunch of money to but he didn't necessarily put it in the right place or the places we wanted him to?

HUNT: Yes. I want to say something like "lipstick on a pig" right now, but I'm sure I can fit that in. The truth is, that unless we put serious pressure on the new president of Pakistan, it will not work. What we thought we had with Musharraf, it didn't. There is active support inside the Pakistani military and intelligence services for the Taliban. And you add that to the lawlessness along the border in Pakistan, it's a recipe for disaster and it's causing our sector — the U.S. sector in Kabul a lot of trouble and the NATO sectors even more trouble in Afghanistan.

NAUERT: Yes, that's a whole another issue. We'll have to talk about that one another day. But Colonel David Hunt, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We'll talk to you again real soon.

HUNT: You're welcome.

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