Fmr. U.S. Security Advisor: ‘Reasonable’ That Pakistan Knew Bin Laden’s Location

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 17, 2011 | 8:13 AM EDT

( – Former U.S. National Security Advisor retired General James Jones told that it is “reasonable” to think that the Pakistani government at “some level” knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

“I don’t want to add any fuel to the fire on that one. There definitely are some questions that have to be asked and answered by both sides and it is reasonable to think that there is a possibility at least at some level there was knowledge,” he told after his speech at a National Press Club luncheon on Monday.

“But I think we should sort out the intelligence, do the investigation with all of the materials that we have and sit down and have some very honest discussions with our Pakistani friends and see where it goes.”

U.S. Navy Seals killed bin Laden during a raid of his compound in Abbottabad near Pakistan’s military academy.

In his remarks at the National Press Club, Gen. Jones said Pakistan’s actions have prolonged the U.S.-led war on terror.

Retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones (Photo: NATO)

“The undeniable fact is that since their deeply flawed decision to not put their army along the border with Afghanistan – this in 2006, thinking that the tribes would in exchange for the army not being present would patrol the border and prevent illegal crossings – Pakistan has become a selective safe haven for terrorists and terrorist leaders and this fact alone has resulted in prolonging the efforts in Afghanistan and continues to cause us and our allies to suffer many more casualties and to deplete our national treasure at a time when obviously we can ill afford to do so,” he said.

When asked if the U.S. should cut off all foreign aid to Pakistan, Gen. Jones said the U.S. should take a “longer view” in determining the “strategic importance” importance of the region.

“There are going to be some calls for that because it’s a feel good thing, sometimes it’s a knee jerk reaction. I think we should take a longer view in terms of the strategic importance of the region,” he told

“But I do think it’s fair to expect that as we have these discussions that Pakistan needs to make a decision as to what path it’s going to take. You can’t play both ends against the middle and you have to, for what is on the table for them, for their future, economically and otherwise, it’s maybe my logic or an American logic but it’s hard for us to understand why that wouldn’t be to Pakistan’s advantage but we’ll just have to see what happens.”