Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Pakistan this week, where he privately pressed for stronger action against the Taliban and al Qaida. U.S. officials have been increasingly worried about Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal region on the Afghan border where al Qaida is believed to have set up training camps. “The government of Pakistan is paralyzed,” said Barnett Rubin, a political scientist at New York University, “and Cheney is there to give them a shove.” Meanwhile, Congress is considering its own measures, including a bill that would cut off U.S. military aid to Pakistan unless the country cracks down on militants. Later in his trip, Cheney was inside Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base when a suicide bombing outside the compound killed 23 people, including one American. The Taliban claimed the attack was aimed at Cheney, who was whisked away to a bomb shelter, unharmed.
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