Pakistan: The Ally from Hell

(Atlantic Monthly) Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder - U.S. taxpayers provide more than $2 billion in annual subsidies to the Pakistani military. Bin Laden's hideout was located less than a mile from Pakistan's preeminent military academy. Much of the world is anxious about the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, and for good reason: Pakistan is an unstable and violent country located at the epicenter of global jihadism, and it has been the foremost supplier of nuclear technology to such rogue states as Iran and North Korea. Pakistan might not be the safest place to warehouse 100 or more nuclear weapons. Pakistan would be an obvious place for a jihadist organization to seek a nuclear weapon or fissile material. Pakistan's military and security services are infiltrated by an unknown number of jihadist sympathizers; and many jihadist organizations are headquartered there already. "There are three threats," says Graham Allison, an expert on nuclear weapons who directs the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The first is "a terrorist theft of a nuclear weapon, which they take to Mumbai or New York for a nuclear 9/11. The second is a transfer of a nuclear weapon to a state like Iran. The third is a takeover of nuclear weapons by a militant group during a period of instability or splintering of the state."

2011-11-11 00:00:00

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