Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pakistan: A Nuclear Armed Terrorist State

The U.S. move toward improving relations with India has been a wise one. For decades the U.S. attempted to "punish" India for having developed nuclear weapons in violation of International non-proliferation treaties, but that only helped the Soviet Union.

In 2002 India and Pakistan were at the brink of a nuclear war, and if not the for the diplomatic efforts of the U.S. it is likely the world would have witnessed a nuclear exchange.

While coastal Pakistan has long ties to the U.S. and the rest of the developed world Pakistan's northern territories have over the course of the last half century become a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism and Islamic radical groups (i.e., terrorist).

While the most recent terrorist attack upon India has caught the eye of the international media the sad fact is that India, the world's largest democracy, has been a victim to a continuous procession of deadly terrorist attacks launched upon it by terrorist groups based in Pakistan.

U.S. attempts to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, and end Al Queda attacks in Afghanistan, have been stymied by Pakistan's reluctance to allow U.S. troops to launch attacks across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border - this is true despite the billions of dollars in international aid that the U.S. has provided Pakistan since 9/11.

While name calling may not be constructive it is important to recognize that by not acting to stamp out terrorist groups, and by not addressing rampant poverty in northern Pakistan, the government of Pakistan has become complicit in the spread of international terrorism.

The U.S. should take every step necessary to assist India in increasing its level of preparedness in defeating terrorism within its borders and beyond, and must continue to encourage Pakistan (by any means including military) to bring economic development to its impoverished regions, and bring terrorist to justice.

I wouldn't have a problem with the U.S. continuing hit and run attacks by special forces within Pakistan, as well as executing air strikes against known terrorist. I would pair such actions with the implementation of a well financed economic development program for Pakistan which would specifically target those regions within Pakistan which harbor terrorist.

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