Monday, May 04, 2009

Will Pakistani uprising give Al Qaeda a nuke?

Amidst the Swine Flu - I mean H1N1 flu - panic, we have somewhat lost sight of a sobering reality in the country of Pakistan. An uprising lead by Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathizers has been winning battles in Pakistan, and has begun to capture towns and cities near the capital. Why do we care, you ask? Because there is a very real possibility of the insurgents capturing a nuke from the Pakistani security system.

Several current officials said that they were worried that insurgents could try to provoke an incident that would prompt Pakistan to move the weapons, and perhaps use an insider with knowledge of the transportation schedule for weapons or materials to tip them off. That concern appeared to be what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was hinting at in testimony 10 days ago before the House Appropriations Committee. Pakistan’s weapons, she noted, “are widely dispersed in the country.”

“There’s not a central location, as you know,” she added. “They’ve adopted a policy of dispersing their nuclear weapons and facilities.” She went on to describe a potential situation in which a confrontation with India could prompt a Pakistani response, though she did not go as far as saying that such a response could include moving weapons toward India — which American officials believed happened in 2002. Other experts note that even as Pakistan faces instability, it is producing more plutonium for new weapons, and building more production reactors.
Allowing a nuclear weapon - any nuclear weapon - to fall into the hands of terrorists is clearly a worst-case scenario. Hopefully, Pakistan will be wise in their use of these weapons, and America will aggressive in its intelligence-gathering and oversight of the arsenal. But here's hoping President Obama shows the toughness he has always claimed to have in addressing this threat with Islamabad.


quizwedge said...

Don't worry, if Al Qaeda gets a nuclear weapon, Obama will talk to them about it. Obviously, by talking to them, they won't use it.

Sean said...

Because the international community is listening to us so much more now that we've put down our big stick and started calling ourselves losers.