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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Time for Israel and India to coordinate against Team Obama

CNN is reporting that Taliban rebels may be close to gaining access to Pakistan's 30-40 nuclear warheads (Hat Tip: Michael F).
A Pakistani government official said the militants fully withdrew from the Buner district on Friday, although other officials cast doubt on the extent of the pullout and how long it would last. Buner is only 60 miles outside Islamabad.

The situation is particularly concerning because Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state.

The Islamic republic is believed to have between 30 and 40 nuclear warheads, according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Those warheads, however, are unassembled and scattered about Pakistan in areas that are not under the control of the Taliban, several analysts said.


Analyst Michael Krepon said while the news out of Pakistan is "disturbing," the real concern is what happens if Pakistan decides to move the weapons components, which are closely guarded by its army.

"The nuclear weapons are the most well-guarded inanimate objects in the country," said Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

"When they're not in motion, they're not going to be subject to hijacking or being overrun by the Taliban."

Krepon, who studies Pakistan's and India's nuclear programs, said tensions between those two countries could prompt Pakistan to move its weapons components.

"If there's a crisis with India ... odds increase greatly that weapons could move around, and when weapons move around, it is very worrisome," he said.
CBS News is reporting that the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, is playing down the possibility that the Taliban will gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs).

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Adm. Mike Mullen. “I don’t see that in any way imminent whatsoever at this particular point in time.”

But Adm. Mullen acknowledged there’s a limit to what he knows since Pakistan guards its doomsday secrets as jealously as the U.S. guards its own, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

“Much of the complex is largely secret and kept so necessarily by the Pakistani government and so I’m not sure we know as much as we should,” said CBS News consultant Juan Zarate.

Meanwhile, a former ambassador warns the Indian government that it may be subject to pressure by the Obama administration over Kashmir as a result of the US focus on Pakistan (Hat Tip: Puneet).
Former US Ambassador Robert Blackwill on Tuesday cautioned that India may encounter eventual US pressure on Kashmir issue because of Obama Administration's focus on Pakistan.

Dubbing Pakistan as the "most dangerous foreign policy problem" that Washington is facing, Blackwill said for every good reason the Obama administration is devoting enormous thought to that country.

"The possible effect of such an enveloping US preoccupation with Pakistan seems on its way in practical terms to re-hyphenating the US-India relationship, leading the administration to see India largely through the lens of deeply disturbing developments in Pakistan," Blackwill, who was the US ambassador to India from 2001-2003, said at a CII gathering.

"This will produce an understandable and growing US interest in trying to reduce tensions in India-Pakistan relationship, not least because Pakistan will argue that tensions with India and the Kashmir dispute are preventing it from moving robustly against the Islamic terrorists," he said, adding India may encounter eventual US pressure on the Kashmir issue.

He also said that Obama administration appeared to have downgraded India in the US' strategic calculations and put China on a higher plane.
If this story sounds familiar to Israelis and our friends, it should. Substitute Iran for the Taliban, the 'Palestinians' for Pakistan, Judea and Samaria for the Kashmir and Israel for India - and you get the picture.

So why aren't Israel and India brainstorming on how to survive the next 4-8 years with the Obama administration in power? Or are they brainstorming and we just don't know about it?

Israel and India and other US allies thrown to the wayside by the current junta in Washington need to get together and help each other by every means possible to make it until a new government can take over in Washington. That means arms sales, coordinating negotiations, trading intelligence - you name it.

Are we up to the challenge? Unfortunately, there is lots that could go wrong.


At 11:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If Israel wants to survive, it needs to start forming alliances and finding common ground with other countries threatened by the specter of Islamic jihad. America has been a good friend but the two countries don't always have the same interests and for awhile at least, there may be a parting of the ways between them.

It thus behooves Israel to prepare for that day - now.


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