20 Nov. 2007

Does USA Control Pakistan's Nukes?

Pakistan's Daily Times recently reported on US neocon plans to attack Pakistan. The idea was to secure or destroy Pakistan's nuclear weaponry. Get a load of this Boy's Own nonsense:
Possible plan: One possible plan would be a Special Forces operation with the limited goal of preventing Pakistan’s nuclear materials and warheads from getting into the wrong hands. Given the degree to which Pakistani nationalists cherish these assets, it is unlikely the United States would get permission to destroy them. Somehow, American forces would have to team with Pakistanis to secure critical sites and possibly to move the material to a safer place. For the United States, the safest bet would be shipping the material to someplace like New Mexico, but even pro-American Pakistanis would be unlikely to cooperate. It would be better for the US 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. It is realistic to think that such a mission might be undertaken within days of a decision to act. The price for rapid action and secrecy, however, would probably be a very small international coalition.
Looks like the USA might not need to bother invading. Today, as the Times of India gleefully reports, it seems the USA already controls Pakistan's nukes!
Pakistan's nuclear weapons are already under American control even as analysts are working themselves into a lather on the subject, a well-regarded intelligence journal has said.

In a stunning disclosure certain to stir up things in Washington's (and in Islamabad and New Delhi's) strategic community, the journal Stratfor reported on Monday that the "United States delivered a very clear ultimatum to Musharraf in the wake of 9/11: Unless Pakistan allowed US forces to take control of Pakistani nuclear facilities, the United States would be left with no choice but to destroy those facilities, possibly with India's help."

"This was a fait accompli that Musharraf, for credibility reasons, had every reason to cover up and pretend never happened, and Washington was fully willing to keep things quiet," the journal, which is widely read among the intelligence community, said.

The Stratfor commentary came in response to an earlier New York Times story that reported that the Bush administration had spent around $100 million to help Pakistan safeguard its nuclear weapons, but left it unclear if Washington has a handle on the arsenal.
I wonder what the poor US grunts guarding the nukes are thinking? There they are in a country of 161,488,000 people, many of whom will understandably be enraged by this news. Over to you, President Musharraf...

Does he admit the US controls his nukes? He is already desperately unpopular, and surely that would trigger riots? OTOH many educated Pakistanis would probably be glad to know he doesn't have his finger on the nuclear trigger...

Interesting times.