Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 29, 2009

Stealing Pakistan's Nukes

The recent "Pakistan is a failed state" meme, heavily promoted by the Obama administration and its friends, had some of the intended results.

Pakistan's army is bombing and shelling some places in Lower Dir and Buner where the huge and fearsome TALIBOTHRA made an attempt to replace the hapless local government. The army will waste a lot of ammunition, many civilians and a few Pashtun fighters who never posed a real threat to Pakistan's Punjabi majority and the central government. After some fighting and reporting of big enemies-killed numbers to the U.S. the central government will agree to another deal with the locals there.

But the "failed state" meme certainly had an additional effect, likely unintended, to increase the believability of anti-U.S. conspiracy theories.

Yesterday the upper house of Pakistan's parliament discussed the current political situation:

PML-N Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq while taking part in the debate said that an anti-Pakistan environment was being created in the world with an impression that the nuclear assets were not in safe hands and that the country is an irresponsible state to pave way for depriving Pakistan from its nuclear assets. “A situation is being created so as to find an excuse to take control of the nuclear assets of the country”, the Senator said, adding that US had also said that Pakistan could be deprived of the nuclear programme if the situation worsened.

Zafar-ul-Haq is leader of the PML-N, the main-opposition party, not a backbencher. The fear of a U.S./Indian plot to get hands on Pakistan's (and Saudi Arabia's) nukes now seems to be a well established thought in Pakistan and certainly not without reason.

I am still unconvinced that it is the real intent behind the recent scare mongering. But who knows? The U.S. military certainly has plans for an 'emergency rescue' of Pakistan's nukes. But the chance of such an operation to be successful, even with some inside help, seems slim to me. Whether successful or not, the consequences would be huge, deadly and not restricted to Pakistan.

Let's hope that Obama does not fall for funny ideas over this issue.

Posted by b on April 29, 2009 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink


Not more moral, but maybe just as rational? There has been a civilization here for 5000 years and the current political borders are only the latest name for a very old land. Maybe a lot of people want it to go on, whether Pakistan is the name or not?

Posted by: omar ali | Apr 29 2009 18:19 utc | 1

What if Iran were to say (has said?) to the US, when Pakistan's nukes are gone, then we will consider shutting down our nuclear development?

Iran, with the help of Chalabi, has had some past success in tasking the US to reduce threats from its neighbors.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 29 2009 18:48 utc | 2

A good op-ed at Juan Cole's site: Cloughley: PAKISTAN’S ARMY, THE TALIBAN, AND WASHINGTON

Pakistan is experiencing severe strains, but can rely on the army to continue to perform its duties as required by the Constitution.

What the country and its army need is quiet, structured support from Washington. All the noisy and insulting public pronouncements by Clinton and others might make good headlines in western newspapers, but they are entirely counter-productive as regards the citizens of Pakistan, who see America as a preaching bully rather than a helper in this time of deep crisis.

U.S. strikes kill 10 in South Waziristan
According to sources, American unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle in Kanigoram area near Mirkot Middle School in South Waziristan in which 10 people were killed, including foreigners.

The targeted vehicle and a nearby house were completely destroyed in the raids.

Posted by: b | Apr 30 2009 7:13 utc | 3

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