Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama Won't Rule Out Military Move to Secure Pakistani Nukes

I'm trying to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt on his Afghan policy (see, "Obama's Neoconservative Pragmatism"). It's hard, considering his lame national security appointments, such as Rosa Brooks as a top Defense Department advisor. But it's becoming increasingly clear that realpolitik has imposed caution on this president, and you get a feel for it in Jon Meacham's interview with the president at Newsweek.

Obama offers the obligatory handwringing on the decision to authorize a surge of troops in Afghanistan, but in an especially crucial admission, Obama confirms that he will not rule out the use of force to secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal in the event of political instablility in that country:

Moving to Pakistan, would you be willing to keep the option alive to have American troops secure those nuclear weapons if the country gets less stable?

I don't want to engage in hypotheticals around Pakistan, other than to say we have confidence that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is safe; that the Pakistani military is equipped to prevent extremists from taking over those arsenals. As commander in chief, I have to consider all options, but I think that Pakistan's sovereignty has to be respected. We are trying to strengthen them as a partner, and one of the encouraging things is, over the last several weeks we've seen a decided shift in the Pakistan Army's recognition that the threat from extremism is a much more immediate and serious one than the threat from India that they've traditionally focused on.
Read the entire interview at the link, via Memeorandum.


Libby said...

donald, i'm actually giving obama due credit for listening to the right people and not releasing photos of torture, & for saying that we do need military tribunals...those are good decisions...

Gayle said...

As Libby said, those are good decisions, but I'm enough of a cynic to know he didn't reach those conclusions on his own. I'm sure he has been informed by the military of the danger of releasing those photos, and I'm also sure that he doesn't want to make an enemy of the military. If I'm wrong, that's okay too. What really matters is that he's not going to release them or fight military tribunals. With everything else he is doing though, it's as though he's throwing us a bone along with the BS.

As for the Afghan policy, I'm really not someone who knows enough about it to have an opinion, although I'm sure my husband, being a retired career Army Officer and a Vietnam Vet who keeps up with all things military, probably does. I guess if I'm to comment with any smarts at all on such subjects, I need to get briefed by him! :)

El Jefe Maximo said...

Military action to secure Pakistani nukes. And this from the same clowns who want to put 17,000 more troops in Afghanistan. . .who have ignored the fact that we supply the Afghan effort (or we did) mostly over Pakistani roads from Pakistani ports.

Maybe we have the capability to secure the Pak nukes ... if we employ the entire military in conjunction with an Indian invasion. Meanwhile, assuming it works, once we've ripped off Pakistan's one notable national achievement, how do the Obamaites propose that we supply the effort in Afghanistan in the future -- assuming it can be continued anyway?

Personally, I think the war in Afghanistan is up the spout if things get bad enough in Pakistan where we're even thinking of grabbing the nukes.