Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 19, 2010

Paying attention to Pakistan

Filed under: Catastrophes — by Philip J. Palin on August 19, 2010

At this specific moment nothing is more important to homeland security than what is happening in Pakistan. 

The confluence of a  profound natural cataclysm, a whole range of cascading accidents and failures, and the prospect of what this will mean for violent extremism in South Asia and around the world is worth our careful attention and thoughtful action.  What we can learn from this cataclysm and how it may yet unfold has a host of domestic implications.

Today I urge you to visit the website for DAWN, the most widely read English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

http://www.dawn.com/

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8 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2010 @ 9:07 am

Actually I would rank the collapse of civil government in Mexico higher than Pakistan but it is a close run thing as the Duke of Wellington remarked about the battle known as Waterloo.

Comment by dan oconnor

August 19, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

While a failed state on our border is a potentially higher threat, the narcoterrorism/criminal activity isn’t as grave a threat as extremists with potential access to nuclear weapons. While that may be a movie type scenario, the lack of redundancy within Pakistans Infrastucture, their diplaced human crisis growing, and the worlds economic state, this may be a glimpse, potentially, of future crises facing developing Nations.

Just an opinion.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

August 19, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

Bill and Dan:

While it is an old rhetorical trick, my choice of “nothing is more important” was purposeful. There are a few other issues I would grant equal importance to what is transpiring in Pakistan. The escalation of violence in Mexico is one of those those.

You each clearly see the operational implications of what is happening in Pakistan. In addition to these, to me the educational implications are important. With Haiti, Deepwater Horizon, and now Pakistan we are being provided important primers on the nature of catastrophe. This is, I think, a phenomenon we need to go to school on… before the school of (very) hard knocks brings catastrophe to California, the New Madrid zone, and other such prospects.

Comment by LOGGER

August 19, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

They might have to sell the nuclear weapons to pay for food and supplies. The donations are very low and needs are very high.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 19, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

My guess is nukes already sold.

Comment by LOGGER

August 19, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

“In the 1990s, China designed and supplied the heavy water Khusab reactor, which plays a key role in Pakistan’s production of plutonium. A subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Corporation also contributed to Pakistan’s efforts to expand its uranium enrichment capabilities by providing 5,000 custom made ring magnets, which are a key component of the bearings that facilitate the high-speed rotation of centrifuges.”
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/pakistan/nuke/

The U.S. is providing hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan. Debt funding as the U.S. economy goes broke. We’re told it’s strategically important. Pakistan is bankrupt. The government better disarm the right people before the wrong people end up with the weapons.

Comment by dan oconnor

August 19, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

It will also be interesting to see what kind of aid India provides. Not sure how nuclear detente is maintained if Pakistan cannot at least posture that they’re still nuclear capable. Also don’t know what degree of utility we’ll leverage in the Muslim World with our assistance.

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/US-Seeks-to-Improve-Image-Through-Flood-Aid–100801629.html

Comment by LOGGER

August 19, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

“Under legislation approved last year, the United States has committed $7.5 billion dollars to Pakistan during the next five years in non-military assistance.”
VOA

A better headline would be “Paying Pakistan”. You could send $70 billion and the place is going to be overpopulated, underfed and prone to disaster. You’d have better funded terrorists and more of them with your money. Or what was your money.

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