President Obama told a British TV interviewer that if he had no regrets over the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. “We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan. But we cannot allow someone who is planing to kill our people and our allies’ people–we cannot allow those kid of active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action.” He wanted to respect the sovereignty and dignity of Pakistan, but he said from day one of his presidency, “if I had a clear shot at Bin Laden that we’d take it.” When asked if another prominent terrorist target was identified in Pakistan, would the same scenario unfold. He indicated the same procedure would be followed since it was his responsibility to “secure the United States” even at the risk of angering an ally.
The president made two key points: the Taliban are being seriously damaged by military action in Afghanistan, and at some point “it means talking with the Taliban” on the assumption they would accept the Constitution of Afghanistan and agree to end violence. Perhaps, this is an example of doing what must be done even though it may not be the legal thing to do.