Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Expansion of Pakistani Nukes and jihadi extremism are security threat for America

IF you ask any authoritative American to list his country's greatest security threats, as I have done repeatedly in the US over the past couple of weeks, you get some mix of the following four issues.
One is China's massive military build-up and the long-term question of how it will behave in the Asia-Pacific. Another is the simultaneous expansion of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, the increase of jihadi extremism there and the decrepit nature of Pakistani institutions. Then there is Iran's burgeoning nuclear technology program and its continuing, indeed increasing, support of international terrorism, especially through Lebanese militia outfit Hezbollah. And finally there is the ongoing threat of international jihadi terrorism. I'm tempted to add the separate issue of nuclear weapons proliferation, but that is virtually co-terminous with Iran and Pakistan. The interaction of these threats is very complex. With the exception of China, each magnifies the others and makes them more difficult to deal with. And Pakistan has many more than a hundred nuclear weapons. It is increasing its nuclear arsenal, and moving it around in irresponsible ways, in part because it is scared the Americans may one day decide to try to destroy or impound this arsenal. So Pakistan is making that option completely impossible. Yet there is nowhere on earth that terrorists are likelier to come by some nuclear material than Pakistan.

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