But who says Americans can’t learn about nuclear security from the Pakistanis?
The Pakistani Army’s Brigadier Atta M. Iqhman and Colonel Bom Zhalot are not the ones to take questions from uppity Western journalists lying down. In the Bulletin Online, Hugh Gusterson reports that they were concerned about the custodial security of nuclear weapons. America’s.
“The United States needs to develop new protocols for storing and loading nuclear weapons, and it needs to do a better job of recruiting and training the personnel who handle them,” Iqhman said.
Iqhman added the Pakistani government would be willing to offer technical advice and assistance to the United States on improving its nuclear weapons handling procedures. Speaking anonymously because of the issue’s sensitivity, senior Pentagon officials said it is Washington’s role to give, not receive, advice on nuclear weapons safety and surety issues.
(Col Zhalot said), “We also worry that the U.S. commander-in-chief has confessed to having been an alcoholic. Here in Pakistan, alcohol is ‘haram,’ so this isn’t a problem for us. Studies have also found that one-fifth of U.S. military personnel are heavy drinkers. How many of those have responsibility for nuclear weapons?”[Bulletin Online]
The good reader (“BOK”) who drew attention to this suggested that it is good material for the Sunday Levity series. That it is.
But isn’t it rather rich of those anonymous Pentagon officials to declare that their role is only to give advice. Scary.