Pakistan & Nukes

All is not well

 

            Pakistan has been out of our headlines since the Bhutto assassination in late December.  But all is not well.  The two leading political parties appear intent on driving long-time U.S. ally President Musharraf out of office.   According to some sources, this could transpire as early as March 17, when the first post-election parliament is due to meet.  It is unclear who will rule Pakistan in the immediate future.

 

            There have already been numerous Islamist terrorist incidents in Pakistan in 2008, carrying a combined death toll in excess of 600 people, according to reliable sources.  Two enormous truck bombs were detonated March 11, in Lahore, East Pakistan killing twenty six and injuring some 175.  One of the main targets was reportedly the Federal Investigation HQ

 

            Turkey is very concerned.  At a conference on international terrorism, Turkey’s top military official (Chief of Staff General Mehmet Yaşar Büyükanıt ) openly discussed the possibility that the Taliban may wind up in control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in the event of Musharraf's ouster, meaning that a terrorist organization would control nuclear arms for the first time.  Not that Musharraf has been able to control or contain Al-Qaeda or the Taliban within Pakistan’s borders.  He has not.  Waziristan, that strip of northwest Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan [see map below] has served as a terrorist training ground and safe haven for al Qaeda ever since 9-11.  Some believe it is the area where Osama Ben Laden has been hiding.

 

            Nuclear armed terrorists?  It has to be the modern world’s greatest nightmare.  What kind of blackmail would befall Israel?  What would become of America’s presence in the Middle East?  These questions become particularly pertinent in the light of our current presidential candidates here in the U.S. 

 

Islamic terrorism is far from defeated.  Israel is contending with the threat on a daily basis.  Just last week a Palestinian gunman murdered eight and injured as many more in a Jerusalem seminary library.  In Iraq, where things have been relatively quiet in recent months a bomber in a suicide vest walked up to an American unit on foot patrol and blew himself to bits, taking out five of our young men and wounding nine Iraqis.  Another three of our guys fell victim to a roadside bomb in a province north of Baghdad.  And these incidents in Iraq took place over the last 24 hours. 

 

It appears that the vaunted USA is prepared to stand by while the worldwide threat of Islamic terrorism further foments, and ultimately wields nuclear weapons.  The greatest political and military power in the history of mankind has ignored the threat and appeased the terrorist movement, and now it’s come to this.  The terrorist government of Iran may field nukes within a couple of years.  The terrorist movement in Pakistan may get there in a matter of weeks.  If it’s got to come to a head, here’s hoping it happens on GW’s watch!  Either way, God help us.


Mark Armstrong
 

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Further reading:
Our Commentary
Crisis in Pakistan  
Pivotal Pakistan
Resources
Bhutto assassination
History of nuclear weapons
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear Weapons Effects Calculator

Photos:
Left: President Musharraf
Center:  Nuclear Blast
Right: Taliban