Per Ambinder, Hillary Clinton says “If we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden or other high-value targets were in Pakistan I would ensure that they were targeted and killed or captured” while Edwards says “My belief is that we have a responsibility to find bin Laden and al Qaeda wherever they operate. I think we need to maximize pressure on Musharraf and the Pakistani government. If they can’t do the job, then we have to do it.”
I hope this’ll be the last we hear of this issue, though fear that it may somehow become a staple of ever-more-fine-grained questions. The more you think about it, though, the more this just seems like a totally pointless hypothetical. If you had a situation where you had firm intelligence that a key al-Qaeda target could be taken out with a discrete special forces mission or a well-placed missile, the Pakistani government would no doubt give the okay. Conversely, posturing aside, nobody’s going to send a giant invasion force into the Pakistani mountains contrary to the will of the government. Bringing this scenario up in the first place was a pretty silly gambit on Obama’s part (what if Osama was on the Moon? in New Brunswick?), though it arguably worked. Anyways, for The Guardian what I found more important about Obama’s speech.