Beyond the Cusp

May 16, 2009

Watchwords on Pakistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — qwertster @ 4:12 AM

Pakistan is quantitatively and qualitatively stepping up production of fissile material in preparation of upgrading and enlarging their nuclear arsenal. When considering their record of proliferation and security breaches in their past nuclear dealings makes this all the more menacing. Now add into the mix the very possibility of imminent control of these armaments by al-Queda and the Taliban and you get a very nervous India. This is exactly what sparked India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this week making an ardent plea to President Obama and the Washington politicos. Despite the credible threat revealed by Indian intelligence backed up and confirmed by Israeli intelligence, there has been no sign of concern coming out of Washington. Apparently, the fact that a major nuclear power in the Middle East is precipitously close to falling into Islamist hands while also building new and more powerful nuclear weapons does not call for even the slightest wariness from the new American President. This is definitely a “What the heck are they thinking?” moment.

Another question that has avoided discussion in most circles in Washington is exactly how far has the ISI, Pakistan’s secretive security agency, been infiltrated by Islamists and Taliban. Often left from the discussions of Afghanistan and Pakistan is the fact that the Taliban was originally formed by Pakistan’s ISI to implement a pro-Pakistani government in Afghanistan. Another question would be how much of the military has also come under such control, specifically the parts of the nuclear command structure. This used to be a very guarded group under the rule of President Musharraf, but now this is a question that requires answering. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any more importance placed on these issues under President Obama than there was under President Bush. This is one area of apparent disregard that has carried over from the past Presidency to the present one.

Satellite images taken recently show Pakistan building two large new plutonium production reactors in Khushab area of Pakistan. These reactors are of a purely military purpose without even the slightest inclination to have them at least appear as power generating reactors. Given Pakistan’s past record on nuclear proliferation, this should be raising at least a few eyebrows. With this coming barely subsequent to the release from house arrest of Dr. A. K. Khan, one cannot help but express concern over any furtherance of Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. With Iran and North Korea seemingly in total cooperation on the two fronts of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles, it begs the question of how much interest does Pakistan have in these developments and what are Pakistan’s plans for the future? Could these new facilities be the first signs of another round of Pakistani nuclear proliferation? Even if these new facilities are purely for internal Pakistani nuclear use, with the current political upheavals taking place within Pakistan this does not bode well. But, why should we worry, it must be all Kosher as the Administration of President Obama, as with Bush before him, does not appear to feel any urgency or concern. Everything must be normal and not worth further inspection or wariness.

Beyond the Cusp

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