Feb 27/09. So far, the United
States has given the government of Pakistan more than $12.3 billion in
military and economic aid. Vice President Joe Biden proposed last summer
that we throw another $7.5 billion in non-military aid Pakistan's way
over the next five years.
But that isn't enough to keep
Pakistan from failing as a state, says the Atlantic Council. The
Council's report says that "we (presumably America) are running out of
time to help Pakistan change its present course toward increasing
economic and political instability, and even
The Council is concerned that
Pakistan is unable to curtail al-Qaida, which operates openly in many
parts of Pakistan, and the Taliban, which recently took over Swat, a
region the size of Delaware. About 3,000 Taliban managed to fight off
12,000 Pakistani troops, forcing Islamabad into a truce.
The Pakistani government agreed
to a very dangerous compromise that allows the region to be governed
according to Shariah law. In effect, this was a capitulation to the
Taliban that greatly increased their stature among the militant tribes
along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. This now puts the U.S. military
at greater risk along their vulnerable eastern flank and endangers their
supply route that must go through part of that territory from the Khyber
Pass. It has also left a safe haven for the leaders of al-Qaida.
Under the terms of the accord,
the chief minister of the province, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, said that
Pakistani troops would now go on "reactive mode" and fight only in
retaliation for an attack. In effect, these regions are now mini-states
controlled by al-Qaida and the Taliban.
All of the above issues pale
into insignificance compared to the danger of Pakistan's government
failing and being taken over by the large number of Islamic
If these Islamic fanatics take
control of Pakistan's nuclear missiles, it will immediately be a much
greater threat to the world than that posed by Iran, Afghanistan and
Iraq put together.
Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is
estimated to contain as many as 100 warheads. They have
intermediate-range ballistic missiles to deliver them.
So, what does it all mean? The
big fear is that Pakistan's government will fall and be taken over by
forces loyal to the Taliban and al-Qaida. Can you imagine what it would
mean should Pakistan's considerable nuclear arsenal fall into the hands