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Monday, March 01, 2004

Pakistan 

In a continuing string of posts on Pakistan, this one is perhaps the most important.

This article (via Calpundit) shows Seymour Hersh suggesting that the likely explanation of our apparent acceptance of the Pakistani government's pardoning of a nuclear secret leaking scientist is the presence of a deal between the U.S. and Musharraf.

Basically the deal would look something like this: the U.S. allows Musharraf to issue the pardon (basically a political necessity) in exchange for allowing U.S. forces (perhaps not openly, but tacitly) to enter the Northwest region of Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden.

I'd like to see Osama in chains as much as the next guy, but aren't we basically spending so much time and money trying to catch him so that we can prevent him from repeating 9/11 or worse, acquiring nuclear weapons and doing much, much worse? Why, then, are we basically turning our backs as a nuclear power that is supposedly our ally allows one of it's top scientists to spread nuclear secrets and materials to nations that we identify as rogue states that support terrorism?

The last paragraph is telling:

Robert Gallucci, a former United Nations weapons inspector who is now dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, calls A. Q. Khan “the Johnny Appleseed” of the nuclear-arms race. Gallucci, who is a consultant to the C.I.A. on proliferation issues, told me, “Bad as it is with Iran, North Korea, and Libya having nuclear-weapons material, the worst part is that they could transfer it to a non-state group. That’s the biggest concern, and the scariest thing about all this—that Pakistan could work with the worst terrorist groups on earth to build nuclear weapons. There’s nothing more important than stopping terrorist groups from getting nuclear weapons. The most dangerous country for the United States now is Pakistan, and second is Iran.” Gallucci went on, “We haven’t been this vulnerable since the British burned Washington in 1814.”

I think that's a little over the top, but the basic theme is all too true. If this is acting in our national interest, then I don't want our government to do that anymore.

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