Extremist, Nuclear Pakistan: An Emerging Threat? Since the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, a wide range of actions has been taken by the Bush administration to neutralize the terrorist infrastructure arrayed against the United States. In addition, the president singled out Iran, North Korea, and Iraq as an "axis of evil." One nation that has been overlooked so far is Pakistan, which the United States has touted as a "frontline ally" in the anti-terrorism war. But Pakistan's cooperation has been grudging and spotty. A reevaluation of U.S. policy toward Pakistan is imperative. Forcing Pakistan to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure within its borders and put a tight lid on its nuclear proliferation activities is more likely to fortify short- and long-term U.S. national security interests than is an invasion of Iraq. There is also a need for contingency plans to rapidly secure and extract Pakistan's nuclear weapons in case of a coup by Islamic radicals. By Subodh Atal.
By Cato Institute , US.
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Defence and Security
Failed States. Among the most important elements of President Bush's first National Security Strategy (NSS) is its focus on failed states. The president is wise to draw attention to the significant threats to our national security posed by failed and failing states. Such states can and often do serve as safe havens and staging grounds for terrorist organizations. Failed states create environments that spur wider regional conflicts with significant economic and security costs to neighboring states. They pose serious challenges to U.S. interests in terms of refugee flows, trafficking in illicit goods, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and lost trade and investment opportunities. Despite the welcome emphasis in the NSS on the security threats posed by failing states, the Strategy does not offer any vision, policies, or new resources to counter these threats. A new U.S. strategy should combine improved intelligence collection with more aggressive efforts at conflict resolution and post-conflict "nation-building" in global crisis zones. Creating pockets of improved development and security would help limit the operating space of international outlaws. Thus, the United States should devise innovative ways to assist failed and failing states through targeted development and counterterrorism assistance as well as improved trade access to the U.S. market. "The New National Security Strategy: Focus on Failed States" by Susan E. Rice.
By Brookings Institution , US.
Claims and evaluations of Iraq's proscribed weapons. This is an inventory and critical analysis of the claims made about the weapons and programmes that Iraq is proscribed from having under the terms of Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), paragraphs. 10 and 12: that is, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km. It is not about Iraq's overall compliance with that resolution or subsequent resolutions on Iraq, including SCR 1441 (2002). For example, it does not attempt to analyse the extent of Iraq's obstruction of inspectors from UNSCOM, UNMOVIC or IAEA. It is instead a presentation of what is actually known about the weapons and programmes themselves. For the UN inspectors currently in Iraq, discovering what is unknown about the history and present status of these items is the task at hand. Inspectors must engage with the possibility of Iraq's retention or development of non-conventional weapons, and report to the Security Council on this basis. However, a set of evaluations can also be made of the likelihood of Iraq's non-conventional weapons programmes, given the material available. No overall judgements are made in this reference file, but material is presented that should allow a more well informed opinion to be reached. By Glen Rangwala.
By Project on Defense Alternatives , US.
Options for dealing with North Korea. How should the West discourage North Korea developing nuclear weapons? Bribery hasn't worked in the past. Military strikes would be extremely risky. Economic sanctions would make little impact on an autarky like North Korea. Ted Galen Carpenter recommends encouraging South Korea and Japan to make their own decisions about developing nuclear weapons and the US withdrawing from North East Asia - thus deterring North Korea or creating a nuclear balance of power in the region.
By Cato Institute , US, North Korea.