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Holbrooke On The Afpak Plan

In a press conference following Obama's speech Obama's special emissary to Afghanistan and Pakistan draws a "red line":

We have to deal with this western Pakistan problem.... [O]f all the dilemmas, problems and challenges we face, that's going to be the most daunting, because it's a sovereign country and there is a red line.  And the red line is unambiguous and stated publically by the Pakistani government over and over again:  No foreign troops on our soil.

Fine, then. But foreign drones raining constant death from the sky? No problem. It's just one of the many ambiguities and complexities at work in this complicated new war.

[Update: Noah Schactman actually thinks the Obama team is keeping the door open to ground forces in Pakistan. That would be quite something.]

More: Bruce Reidel on those elusive benchmarks:

The benchmarks is a process that's just beginning.  We have not established them.  Let me say that this strategic review is a road map for moving forward; it's a strategy.  It's not intended to be a campaign plan or a straitjacket....
We will develop benchmarks across the board.  Some of these are fairly obvious, like levels of violence, levels of casualties, periodicity of suicide bombings both in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- those kind of benchmarks that you measure any conflict by.  Those are some that are pretty obvious.  There are going to be other ones about moving against corruption; there will be other ones about the speed with which we build up the Afghan army and the success rate of building the Afghan army.
So the benchmarks process is not something that's locked in stone today.  It's something that we're only at the beginning phase of starting to work on.

Reidel also flagrantly dodged a question about whether the benchmarks would apply to events in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan.

--Michael Crowley