The little business of securing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons—by force
If the United States can’t move a million troops to stablise a collapsing Pakistan, what can it do? Well, it can send special forces to team with moderate “Pakistanis to secure critical sites and possibly to move the material to a safer place”. Like New Mexico. And since it’ll be hard to find Pakistanis moderate enough to ship their nukes to Los Alamos, the United States “would have to settle for establishing a remote redoubt within Pakistan, with the nuclear technology guarded by elite Pakistani forces backed up (and watched over) by crack international troops”. That, in a nutshell, is the plan.
Now Frederick Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon—the men behind the plan—are not the flippant sorts who leave gratuitously hawkish comments on blogs. They are serious scholars. It’s unclear how closely their thinking reflects the policy options on the Bush administration’s table. For one, it does not properly square with other reports. But if at all such a plan is being contemplated what is the purpose and value of announcing it to the world in a New York Times op-ed?
Related Links:The Duck of Minerva thinks this is almost completely insanity but goes on to say “this option would more than likely require a US force to assume a hostile Pakistani force protecting the weapons, and another hostile Pakistani force seeking to take the weaponsNot exactly what you’d want to jump in the middle of, but the consequences of not doing so—a loose nuke in the hands of an Al Qaeda ally—are probably worth the risk.”