Jim Kouri
US military officials concerned over Pakistani terrorists and nukes
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By Jim Kouri
May 4, 2009

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed deep concern today that "events continue to move in the wrong direction" in Pakistan and that the situation there may be approaching a tipping point, according to Donna Miles of the Armed Forces Information Center.

US national security experts believe that the instability in Pakistan is a threat to US security since that nation is part of the global "nuclear club," nations that possess nuclear weapon stockpiles.

Navy Admiral Michael Mullen said during an appearance on NBC News that he shares Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's concerns that the Taliban have taken full control of Pakistan's Swat Valley. Clinton had told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 22 this trend "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world."

US officials fear it's giving Islamic terrorists a foothold for launching attacks in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. They also are concerned with the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists and terrorists.

"I'm increasingly both concerned and frustrated at the progression of the danger," Mullen said.

This morning's unconfirmed news reports claim that the Taliban had begun to withdraw its forces from the Buner Valley, 60 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pointed to the the gravity of the Taliban's increasing influence and control in Pakistan, and the need for a strong Pakistani response.

"My hope is that there will be an increasing recognition on the part of the Pakistani government that the Taliban in Pakistan are in fact an existential threat to the democratic government of that country," Gates told reporters who traveled with him to Camp Lejeune, NC, to visit deploying Marines.

"I think that some of the leaders certainly understand that, but it is important that they not only recognize it but take the appropriate actions to deal with it," Gates said.

What happens in Pakistan directly affects Afghanistan, he told reporters.

"The stability and longevity of democratic government in Pakistan is central to the efforts of the coalition in Afghanistan, and it is also central to our future partnership with the government in Islamabad," he said.

"We want to support them. We want to be helpful in any way we can," Gates said. "But it is important that they recognize the real threats to their country."

Earlier this week, as Mullen visited Combat Outpost Deysie in Afghanistan, commanders reported that Taliban forces are flowing back into Afghanistan after a winter spent training and refitting in Pakistan.

An additional 17,000 U.S. combat troops will begin arriving soon in Afghanistan to focus on this vulnerable region. "We're going as fast as we can go right now," Mullen said. "We want to get it right."

But Mullen said the Pakistani military "has to increase pressure as pressure increases on this side to stop that insurgent flow."

According to national security experts in the US, there are problems within the Pakistani military and their law enforcement and intelligence agencies with members being sympathetic to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other Jihadis.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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