Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal

· Architect of Iraq surge draws up takeover options
· US fears army’s Islamists might grab weapons

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
Saturday December 1, 2007
The Guardian

A soldier arrests a suspected militant in Pakistan
Pakistani paramilitary forces holds an alleged suspect during a crackdown operation against militants near Mingora in northern Pakistan, Friday, November 30, 2007. Photograph: Mohammad Zubair

The man who devised the Bush administration’s Iraq troop surge has urged the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.In a series of scenarios drawn up for Pakistan, Frederick Kagan, a former West Point military historian, has called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan.

These include: sending elite British or US troops to secure nuclear weapons capable of being transported out of the country and take them to a secret storage depot in New Mexico or a “remote redoubt” inside Pakistan; sending US troops to Pakistan’s north-western border to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida; and a US military occupation of the capital Islamabad, and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if asked for assistance by a fractured Pakistan military, so that the US could shore up President Pervez Musharraf and General Ashfaq Kayani, who became army chief this week.

Continued . . .

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