News item No. 1 concerns the testimony of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 24. “[Deterioration of security in nuclear-armed Pakistan] poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world,” she said.
By Tony Blankley
The Washington Times
News Item No. 2: Headline in The Washington Post Page 1, top right, above the fold, May 4: “U.S. Options in Pakistan Limited” News item No. 3: Jackson Diehl’s Washington Post column May 4 : “A senior [Obama administration] official said “it’s not good when your national security interests are dependent on a country over which you have almost no influence.”
In the matter of two weeks, we have gone from the U.S. secretary of state testifying to Congress that a nuclear Pakistan run by Islamist radicals would be a “mortal threat” to America, to, yesterday, the admission by the administration that we have limited options to avoid such a “mortal threat.”
What are we to make of such a development? Does anyone take serious words seriously anymore here in Washington?
I and many others had previously warned of the dangers of a nuclear Talibanistan (which have been obvious and talked about for years). Experts I have talked to in the past week do not believe Mrs. Clinton overstates the case. Nor do I. She is very careful with her words – and they fit the danger.
If Pakistan’s nuclear weapons get into the hands of Taliban or al Qaeda, even unlaunched, they would provide the weapons-grade, fast-fissile material necessary to create a nuclear holocaust here in the United States or elsewhere.
How did it come to be that the government of the most powerful nation in the history of humanity (population 300 million plus, with a gross domestic product of $14 trillion, larger than next three economies – Japan, China and Germany – combined) confesses that its options are limited on a “mortal threat” to our nation?
And what are we going to do about it? I don’t blame the Obama administration – not yet. It inherited our current national military strength. But it has been obvious for years that we are not prepared to deal with a world that refuses to behave as we either predict or prefer. We need to start catching up with the growing contingent threats.