SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me say with respect to the ground troops, that may have been raised, but it was not at all considered.
QUESTION: But it was raised.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, everything is raised in a meeting with people sitting around a table, and that has – that reflects the worry and the frustration for this reason. I was just at our Embassy in Kabul. The Haqqani Network bombarded our Embassy for many hours. We were very fortunate that no Americans lost their lives, although some Afghans waiting for visas were unfortunately killed. And I'm the Secretary of State. I'm responsible for the lives and the well-being of the people who are our diplomats and our American employees and our local employees in embassies across the globe. I just want you to put yourself in our position. We have been warning about the Haqqanis, we've been warning about safe havens, we have presented information and evidence, we have shared intelligence.
Suppose they had gotten lucky. Suppose that car bomb had killed 77 American soldiers or suppose a car bomb or an effective barrage of assault weapons had killed Americans. Put yourself in the position that suppose that had happened to the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul or some other place. We don't want to act unilaterally. We want to act in concert with our friends, our partners, our strategic allies in Pakistan, but we don't want there to be any misunderstanding that we have to act, otherwise there will be perhaps an incident in the future that takes it out of the hands of any president. We don't want to get to that, and it's something that we are doing everything we can to avoid.
So when we talk about actions, as I was just talking to Munizae about, we talk about specific things we can do together. But a lot of it depends upon cooperation with our Pakistani counterpart. We think that is far better than having some disaster happen that requires some kind of response, which we are not at all interested in getting to. We want to avoid that.
So are we saying you are ruling out boots on the ground?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. That has never been a serious consideration
SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no, because this is too – way too early in the process, and nobody's even sure who that would be, so no.
QUESTION: And one question relating to that Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill, you had talks two months ago (inaudible) U.S. assistance to Pakistan. But what (inaudible), only (inaudible) million dollars have been actually given to Pakistan, (inaudible) million dollars promised in (inaudible) assistance. What happened to that program?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, $2 billion in assistance has been
delivered in the last calendar year.QUESTION: Under Kerry-Lugar-Berman?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, and also under flood relief, so about 900 million in response to the first devastating flood and the rest in civilian assistance under Kerry-Lugar Berman.
QUESTION: If I can duly ask, do you have any favorite groups in Afghanistan as far as the United States is concerned? And similarly, as far as Pakistan is concerned, when will you talk about reconciliation with the Taliban?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Do we have any favorite groups?
SECRETARY CLINTON: No. We think that there have been some important contacts within Afghanistan of people representing elements of the Taliban, elements of other terrorist groups, like the HIG, for example. So we know that there are – there's a lot outreach going on. It's one of the things Professor Rabbani was doing. I think it's part of the reason why we believe the Taliban killed him, because he was being too effective in outreach. He came to Islamabad several times to consult here, and they weren't ready. And they also thought it would demoralize the Afghans, which it did, because it was such a terrible national blow. So we're exploring all that.
MODERATOR: Too many follow-ups.
NADEEM MALIKQUESTION: Just wait. (Inaudible) then on the outcome, I think Pakistan and United States (inaudible) that a strong and stable Afghanistan is in interest of (inaudible) Pakistan as well, then why there are so many strong differences on strategy and tactics?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don't – I just said I don't think there are, once we actually sit down and go through them. I think that there is agreement on everything from squeezing the Haqqani – now, the tactics about doing that are obviously up to each government. There is absolute agreement on trying to move forward on a peace process. The particulars of it have to be worked out, but generally, I think we're in agreement.
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