WHILE the warning by US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen that the US would conduct unilateral strikes inside Pakistan to pursue those who had attacked US citizens is an attempt to mount pressure on Pakistan to expand its military operation from Malakand to Waziristan, it also shows erratic swings in the US policy towards Pakistan. What is more, he exuded confidence in saying that the Pakistan government had no objection to such strikes. What he means is that the US in the event of some attack either on its citizens or homeland would be launching a ground attack on Pakistan's soil, a strategy that is based on US's perception of Pakistan as a militant safe haven. This, in addition to the predator strikes, makes for a deadly combination that will greatly destabilize the country. The last time the US launched a ground offensive against Pakistan was in 2008 in Angoor Ada, a village close to the Pak-Afghan international border that claimed a number of innocent lives. Admiral Mullen fails to notice a key point that adventurism of this sort constitutes a gross violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Repercussions of such a move at a time when a political government holds office would be grave. Keeping in view the ordinary Pakistanis who will hardly ever tolerate presence of US forces, the storm of popular protests and the chaos that would follow it would greatly undermine a nascent democracy and its attempts to take root. One would have thought that the US would instead give Islamabad a pat on the back for its feat of driving out the militants from the Swat valley. Instead the noises like that of General Mullen keep clamouring for a more aggressive stand against Pakistan. Secondly, his statement that Pakistan's government will be on board raises doubts about the genuineness of the public stand taken by the PPP-led government, which more often than not blows hot and cold on the US for its flawed policy of war on terror. Under the circumstances, the US must realize that this sort of sabre rattling by the Chief of US armed forces further vitiates relations between the two countries. A sensible way of reining in troublemakers inside Pakistan, so that they could do no harm to the US, is by adding steel to its spine, providing it with anti-terror weaponry like drones, sophisticated helicopter gunships, night vision goggles and so on. Only then the alliance can move in the right direction.