Mullen Shares Concern for Aid Workers in Pakistan

CLEVELAND, Aug. 27, 2010 — The U.S. mil­i­tary is tak­ing “sig­nif­i­cant” pre­cau­tions to ensure safe­ty for its forces and U.S. aid work­ers pro­vid­ing flood relief in north­west­ern Pak­istan, the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

The Unit­ed States “cer­tain­ly would hope that all of those who are pro­vid­ing aid in this very dif­fi­cult set of cir­cum­stances would not be imped­ed,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters.

Mullen was here as part of a three-day “Con­ver­sa­tion with the Coun­try” tour across the Mid­west. The trip is geared toward help­ing com­mu­ni­ty and busi­ness lead­ers and the aca­d­e­m­ic com­mu­ni­ty step up to help mil­i­tary vet­er­ans hone their skills and life expe­ri­ence as they make the tran­si­tion into civil­ian life. He met with busi­ness and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in Chica­go on Aug. 25 and in Detroit yes­ter­day.

The chairman’s com­ments come a day after the U.S. State Depart­ment voiced con­cern for Amer­i­can vol­un­teers in Pak­istan. State Depart­ment spokesman P.J. Crow­ley said U.S. relief work­ers there are fear­ful of a Tal­iban or extrem­ist reprisal on for­eign­ers.

Mullen agreed, say­ing such an attack by mil­i­tants would­n’t be a sur­prise.

“I share the con­cern that was stat­ed yes­ter­day by the State Depart­ment,” he said. “I haven’t seen any indi­ca­tion that that’s hap­pened yet. But the insur­gents have no moral bounds, and that they might do some­thing like that isn’t out­side the realm of pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

Mullen laud­ed the U.S. effort there. More than 6,500 dis­placed Pak­ista­nis have been moved to safe­ty since efforts began Aug. 5. Also, near­ly 2 mil­lion pounds of relief sup­plies have been deliv­ered.

The U.S. mil­i­tary has devot­ed 19 heli­copters and three car­go planes to flood relief efforts, and more heli­copters were promised today. About 400 U.S. troops are pro­vid­ing relief.

An esti­mat­ed 20 mil­lion peo­ple could be affect­ed by the flood­ing, which has iso­lat­ed much of Pakistan’s Swat Val­ley and Peshe­war regions.

“The floods are obvi­ous­ly huge and trag­ic,” Mullen said. “The Unit­ed States is mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →