Although the U.S. raid that resulted in the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was widely praised by many, it still had its detractors, specifically those that questioned President Barack Obama’s willingness to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty to achieve that goal.
However, with Mullah Omar still on the loose, would Obama authorize such a mission again if warranted? In an interview on BBC on Monday on a trip to the United Kingdom, Obama said he would if the safety of Americans and the people of the country’s allies were endangered.
“Our job is to secure the United States,” Obama said. “We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan but we cannot allow someone who is actively planning to kill our people or our allies’ people – we can’t allow those kinds of active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action.”
And although U.S.-Pakistan relations are tenuous in the wake of the U.S. raid, Obama explained what the United States must ultimately do to achieve its goals in the region.
“Ultimately it means talking to the Taliban although we’ve been very clear about the requirements for any kind of serious reconciliation,” he said. “The Taliban would have to cut all ties to al-Qaeda, renounce violence and they would have to respect the Afghan constitution.”