WASHINGTON - The next US administration will adhere to the policy of  taking out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin laden in anywhere if actionable intelligence was available after it reviews its overall strategy towards the Pak-Afghan region, an American expert has said. But Steven Cook, who is associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, said the the new president, whether he is Barack Obama or John McCain, would have a fresh look at the policy of hot pursuit and going after militants in Pakistan's tribal areas as it is creating more difficulties for both countries. "I would expect that either President is going to take a fresh, hard look at what our policies are towards Pakistan, especially this policy of not quite hot pursuit, but going in after suspected militant hideouts and so on and so forth.  And to what effect that is having on the stability of Pakistan itself.  There is some evidence to suggest that this is actually creating more difficulties for the United States, more difficulties for the Pakistani government," he said at Washington's Foreign Press Center.   Cook, who is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, criticized the Bush administration for its policy toward Pakistan over the last several years. "Quite frankly, I didn't understand what the Bush administration's policy was on Pakistan.  It seems to me that the Bush administration created this situation in Pakistan by going halvsies. "It struck me that the template for the policy was similar to what our policy has traditionally been towards Egypt .  But nevertheless, we either should have supported Musharraf or we should have supported democratic change in Pakistan, not halfway on each one," he stated at a briefing on foreign policy in 2008 presidential elections. Meanwhile, the United States appears to have ignored Pakistan's demand that United States "stop immediately" its missile attacks on militants in the country's tribal areas. The demand for the cessation of attacks inside Pakistani territory was made when US Ambassador Anne Patterson was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on Wednesday and told that the American actions were obstructing the government's efforts to isolate the extremists. Questioned about Pakistan's demand for cessation of missile attacks, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack praised the South Asian country's and efforts in the fight against terrorism along the Afghan border but refused to comment specifically on the unilateral strikes into its territory. Below is an exchange on this subject between an American correspondent and the State Department spokesman: QUESTION: Do you think, Sean, that the U.S. Government may have, in a sense, overplayed its hand in taking this more aggressive stance with regard to striking targets inside Pakistani territory, whether via drone or otherwise? I mean, the Pakistanis have said that the reason they called her in was dismay over a particular drone attack. It's a public statement by them. Can you " clearly, there's got to be a balance somewhere between striking what you regard to be targets, and important targets, and maintaining a relationship with the government that, after all, you have described for seven years now as a close partner in the war on terrorism. Do you think you perhaps do not have that balance right? MCCORMACK: Look, you know, I'm in a position of not commenting on reports of these kinds of operations that you're describing. It's just not something I do. But all of that said, we work closely with Pakistan. That's a true statement, I think, that the kind of cooperation we've had with Pakistan in terms of fighting violent extremism over the past seven years has been very good. Certainly, if you look at where we started in 2001, it's just a completely different story on the positive side. Does that mean that there is not more to do? No, it doesn't. Of course, there is more to do. But the President in his statements " and you go back, all the way back to those statements in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, his address to Congress and other statements " has made it very clear that his top priority is to protect the American people and to protect the United States. And you know, in the course of carrying out those duties, the President as well as other members of his cabinet are always confronted with tough decisions. We have to do " we've had to do a lot of hard things in the past seven years. Some of them, countries and people commenting have disagreed with. That's their right. But we always seek to try to, as best we can, given the circumstances, explain the reasons for our actions and the reasons behind our policies. We have " the President and his advisors believe they have pursued the proper courses of action, writ large. I'm not " again, I can't comment on any specifics in this regard. The next administration coming in " they're going to have to make their own decisions about these issues. But it is " nobody should be under the illusion that it isn't a dangerous world out there and that there aren't threats to the United States, our friends, our allies, and our interests. And it is the responsibility of a government, the most fundamental responsibility of a government, to protect its people. QUESTION: A general point. How much friction do you have with the new Pakistani Government over the border regions? The Pakistanis " we're certainly hearing protests from them, even if you're not admitting you're receiving them. MCCORMACK: Right, right. No, I'm not denying we're receiving anything. I'm just not commenting on them. The Pakistanis as well as others are free to comment on these diplomatic exchanges. As far as I can tell " I'll give you my assessment " I think that the cooperation with the Pakistani Government has been good. That isn't to say that if you look over the course of the past seven years there haven't been bumps in the roads " bumps in the road or disagreements that are certainly " there certainly have been, and I am sure that going forward there will be. But the Pakistani Government also understands that it is in their vital national interest to address the threat from violent extremists. And we've talked a lot " you know, I just talked a lot about the threats to the United States, our interest, and our friends and allies. Well, to shift the focus back to Pakistan, these violent extremists are as much a threat to Pakistan and where the government wants to take Pakistan and presumably where the Pakistani people want to take Pakistan, as expressed through the ballot box " these violent extremists, they're as much a threat to that vision and that government as they are to us or others. So it's in their interest to be in this fight. And you have to do it a lot of different ways. You have to do it with security measures, intelligence, political measures, economic measures, development measures. So you know, we've discussed quite a bit over the past years counterinsurgency strategies, and at its root, that's what you're talking about. You're trying to come at these problems from a lot of different angles. QUESTION: Sean, if the cooperation is good, and if the Pakistani Government understands, as you say, that these alleged militants are as much " or these militants are as much a threat to them as to you, then why aren't they going after them themselves; and would you not prefer that the Pakistani military conduct such operations rather than the United States having to be accused of violating their sovereignty and doing it itself? MCCORMACK: Right. Well, they have gone after these violent extremists in the FATA as well as the " in North and South Waziristan, there have been a variety of efforts at that. I can't tell you precisely when the last offensive from the Pakistani military or the Frontier Corps has been. But they've taken a lot of losses in this fight, so they have " they have spilled blood, they have spilled treasure in this fight. And I expect that will continue. Like I said, I can't tell you the last time they launched an offensive or what their most recent military operations were. I suspect that you could say within the past weeks there have been operations in those areas, but I'll let the Pakistanis describe those for themselves.