Global Security Headlines

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pakistan Reader

Pakistan 'fighting for survival'- BBC

Will the Taliban take over Pakistan and thus get the country's nuclear weapons? The stakes could not be higher for the future course of SW Asia and the world.

Below are capsules and links to authoritative analysis of the tense situation.

Pakistan's 'Existential Threat' Comes From Within - Council on Foreign Relations

"There is a real possibility of a jihadist state emerging in Pakistan sometime in the future. And that has to be one of the worst nightmares American foreign policy could have to deal with."

The Brookings Institute

Pakistan's Nuclear Scenarios: The Risks with Bombing

Michael E. O'Hanlon, May 06, 2009, The New York Times' "Room For Debate"

As the Pakistani military launched a new offensive against the Taliban in the country’s North-West Frontier Province, officials and former officials in Washington continued to discuss what the American response should be to the heightened conflict. Michael O'Hanlon offers his views on the situation.

The Heritage Foundation
May 4, 2009
Backgrounder #2268

Pakistan is in the midst of rapid political shifts that are challenging the leadership's ability to maintain cohesion within the country and even raising ques­tions about Pakistan's ability to survive as a viable nation-state over the next few years. Pakistan has long suffered from ethnic and sectarian divisions. However, the recent threat from a well-armed and well-orga­nized Islamist insurgency pushing to establish strict Islamic law in the entire country, beginning with the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), adds a new and more dangerous dimension to the country's chal­lenges. Although the collapse of the Pakistani state may not be imminent, as some have recently argued, the government's surrender of the Swat Valley is a major victory for Islamist extremists seeking to carve out pockets of influence within the country.

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