Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nukes in the 12th Century

The attack on the Pakistan Army Headquarters has prompted some people to get all panicky about Pakistan's nukes and start pronouncing the Taliban as invincible. Nothing could be further from reality. This raid was an act of desperation rather than a show of strength. It was led by a senior figure in one of the many Taliban groups and he was captured alive.

These attacks only serve to galvanize the public and the military who don't want to live under the rule of fanatic religious extremists. It has been convenient to ignore the extremists in the remote areas who often served Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan or on the border of India and most had received government support at various times. Even the ones the Army really didn't like stayed in remote villages. Now that they pose a threat, this policy is changing.

From a newspaper in the region commenting on the practice of supporting some extremists: {In the aftermath of the attack on GHQ, at least one commentator, senior journalist Zaffar Abbas and resident editor of Dawn newspaper in Islamabad, wrote urging the military and civilian establishment to drop these distinctions.
“The attack on the GHQ may prove to be a watershed that compels the security and civilian establishment to realise that the time to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religious militants [is] over, and a consensus [is] needed to confront all such groups as enemies of the state,” he wrote in a front-page comment in the newspaper.}

If Pakistan cleans up its extremist problem, it will make disengaging from Afghanistan much easier for the US. As far as the nuclear weapons go, Pakistan does not keep their weapons in a ready state. It would be extremely difficult to steal all the components and be able to assemble them into a working bomb. I would be more concerned about the religious fanatics in the USAF stealing half a dozen, loading them on a B-52 and flying them to Barksdale LA. But that could never happen.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully some people remember that yet to be investigated,publicized,non-disciplined[although some of em died under unusual circumstances like so many others since the turn of the century] incident.........

Ronmac said...

We also have to remember the Taliban/Pashtans make up only 10-15 per cent of Pakistan's population so it's pretty inconceivable the Taliban will march into the capital and take over.

I imagine there's lots of unrest among other parts of Pakistan's diversive ethnic groups pretty fed up with the rampant corruption.