After 9 years of 'war on terror' al-Qaida remains the 'greatest threat'

President Barack Obama told Chinese students on Monday that the greatest threat to the United States' security is "Al Qaeda". Against the background of this statement, Washington has increased pressure on the Kabul regime and on Islamabad, demanding "more cooperation" in the war against Islam.

Obama, who is visiting Shanghai in the nine-day trip to Asia, is nearing a decision on whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. In the US, he is being criticized for "irresolute" Afghan strategy, and being demanded to take this decision as soon as possible.

"I continue to believe that the greatest threat to the United States' security are the terrorist networks like Al Qaeda," Obama told students. "They have now moved over the border of Afghanistan and are in Pakistan, but they continue to have networks with other extremist organizations in that region and I do believe it is important for us to stabilize Afghanistan."

One of Obama's top aides delivered a letter to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari urging him to work with the US "against extremists", the New York Times reported on Monday.

In the letter, Obama offered Zardari a range of new incentives to the Pakistanis "for their cooperation", including enhanced intelligence sharing and military cooperation, according to the Times, which said the proposal was delivered in person by National Security Adviser General James Jones.

Jones's press secretary, Mike Hammer, confirmed that Jones had travelled to Pakistan just before joining Obama over the weekend in Singapore for a summit of Asia Pacific leaders.

Jones also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and other officials. But Hammer would not discuss what was said in the meetings nor whether a letter was delivered. [adm/kavkaz]

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