Status of US ties with Pak was like a 'cold shower' for Obama: Woodward

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 07:20 hrs

Well-known author-cum-journalist Bob Woodward has revealed in his latest book "Obama's Wars that President Barack Obama's focus is turning increasingly to Pakistan, even as his administration's military efforts continue to be directed at Afghanistan.

Woodward told ABC News that Obama was told of deep problems in the US relationship with Pakistan in his very first intelligence briefing, and it seemed like"a cold shower" coming days after his triumphant 2008 presidential victory.

"Imagine the high of being elected on that Tuesday and they come in two days later and say, by the way, here's-here are the secrets, and one of the secrets is Pakistan," Woodward said.

"We're attacking with a top-secret, covert operation, the safe havens in Pakistan, but Pakistan is living a lie. And this is a theme throughout the whole Obama presidency: 'How do you get control of Pakistan?' "

In Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari is depicted as quietly providing help to U.S. enemies, with the CIA suspecting that his government compromised its intelligence.

"You can't keep playing one side against the other," Biden warns Zardari, according to Woodward's book.

For his part, Zardari expresses frustration that Americans are too concerned about civilian casualties. Woodward reports that Zardari told then-CIA Director Michael Hayden that his poll numbers were high enough to weather blowback from casualties.

"Collateral damage worries you Americans. It does not worry me," Zardari told Hayden, Woodward writes.

The president secretly consulted several times with Colin Powell, the retired general who served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush.

Powell advised the president not to allow himself to get pushed into a decision by the media, the Democratic base, or the military, Woodward writes. (ANI)