Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared upbeat and relaxed in an interview with ABC News this morning, despite a sometimes contentious visit to Pakistan, a crucial ally in the fight against terrorism.
Her Thursday comments suggesting that Pakistani leaders could get al Qaeda leaders if they'd wantedsparked a storm here, but Clinton refused to back down.
"Trust is a two-way street," she said today. "There is a trust deficit. ... It will not be sufficient to achieve the level of security the Pakistanis deserve if we don't go after those that are still threatening not only Pakistan but Afghanistan and the rest of the world, and we wanted to put that on the table, and I think it was important that we did."
Shaking off criticism, she said, "I want to have the kind of relationship where we really are talking honestly about everything between us because there's just too much at stake."
She was careful to acknowledge the Pakistani government's support in the fight against terrorism, saying, "I think they have gone after the enemies that most threaten them.
"But," she added, "I think it would be a missed opportunity and lack of recognition of full extent of the threat if they did not realize that any safe haven, anywhere, for terrorists, threatens them, threatens us and has to be addressed."
At several public events in Pakistan, Clinton has been faced with doubts about U.S. intentions, even outright anger toward the United States.
"I have acknowledged that we've made mistakes, and I have no problem acknowledging that," she told ABC News today. "I think it's only fair but I want to move beyond that."
Her three-day visit to Pakistan comes during a week of violence and instability here: a car bomb in the Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed 105 Wednesday and, across the border in Afghanistan, an attack on the United Nations in the capital Kabul that killed 11, including three attackers.
With little more than a week to go before President Barack Obama announces his decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, Clinton emphasized that the United States is looking to change counterinsurgency strategy in that country.
"It's not going to be just a repeat of the same old approach, we're trying some different things, when the president makes his decision, that will be evident," she said.
The United States was not losing the war there, she said, but acknowledged that "the Taliban has some momentum" at the moment.
Her visit also comes as Iranian leaders appear to be backing out of a highly anticipated deal to ship their uranium out of the country for processing. The deal, she insisted, was "not dead yet, because there is solid international commitment. ... We are putting Iran to a test."
Meanwhile, in the United States, talk about the other administration job she might have had is making waves. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe writes in a new book that the president seriously considered Clinton as his running mate but said Bill Clinton would mean that there were "more than two of us in the relationship."
Asked whether her husband had cost her an opportunity to be vice president, Clinton said, laughing, "I'm happy with the job I have. … I'm not the kind of person who looks backward, I look forward."