In Cable, Ambassador To Pakistan Schools White House About Limits Of American Power

Members of President Barack Obama’s national security team were casting about last fall for ways to counter al Qaeda fighters who had taken refuge across the Afghan border. So they asked the U.S. embassy in Pakistan to weigh in.They probably…

Members of President Barack Obama’s national security team were casting about last fall for ways to counter al Qaeda fighters who had taken refuge across the Afghan border. So they asked the U.S. embassy in Pakistan to weigh in.

They probably didn’t get the answer they were hoping for, though. Instead, Anne W. Patterson, then the ambassador in Islamabad, responded by firing off a no-nonsense cable to Washington explaining the limits of American power.

Patterson’s September 2009 cable, entitled “Reviewing our Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy,” was one of several released on Tuesday from WikiLeaks‘s treasure-trove of secret State Department memos.

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