The Times Square incident sent the White House scurrying to examine its options for a counterattack on Pakistan in the event of a successful strike on US soil, reports the Washington Post. The hit would be used only in extreme scenarios or if President Obama loses faith in the CIA's drone strikes, officials say, but the US is increasingly worried by the threat posed by the Pakistani Taliban.
The White House is simultaneously ramping up its outreach to Pakistani intelligence in a bid to prevent an attack in the first place. But as it weighs options, it's moved away from a "large, punitive response" to more surgical strikes. "We need to be circumspect in how we respond so we don't destroy the relationships we've built," one official tells the Post.
(Read more US-Pakistan relations stories.)