Mullen stands by his accusations against Pakistan, but he stands alone

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen listens to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, during the Senate Armed Services Committee's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy hearing.


By Published: September 28, 2011

Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with NPR on Wednesday that he stands by his assertion that the Haqqani terrorist group is a "veritable arm" of the Pakistani intelligence service.

"I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased," he said of his testimony last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mullen told NPR he decided to talk about the "linkage" after Haqqani was found to be responsible for three major attacks in Afghanistan. "I'm not asserting that the Pak mil or the ISI has complete control over the Haqqanis," he said. "But the Haqqanis run that safe haven. They're also a home to al-Qaida in that safe haven. And I am losing American soldiers. The Haqqanis are killing American soldiers. And from that perspective, I think it's got to be addressed, which is the reason I spoke to it."

Pakistan has angrily denied the allegations, and the White House, Pentagon and State Department have carefully refused to endorse Mullen's comments.

But Mullen says he wouldn't change a word of his testimony. He also told NPR the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, while tense, needs to be preserved.

Read NPR's recap of the Mullen interview on "Inside Edition"

Read the transcript of the full interview, which also touches on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and military budget cuts

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