Nuclear Security Cooperation Between the United States and Pakistan
A Survey from 2000-2009
By Andrew J. Grotto, Michelle Hammer, Center for American Progress, June 24, 2009
Pakistan and the United States share an interest in denying Islamist extremists access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and preventing rogue Pakistani officials from peddling nuclear technologies. The countries have been working together behind the scenes on this issue since before 9/11. A survey of their efforts, based on publicly available information, suggests substantial progress. The United States must continue to make nuclear security an essential element of its bilateral relationship with Pakistan.
President Barack Obama stated in May that the United States and Pakistan retain “strong military-to-military consultation and cooperation,” but full collaboration is limited in the nuclear arena. The main obstacle is a belief among some Pakistani leaders and the general public that American offers of assistance mask more nefarious motives of espionage or even seizing Pakistan’s arsenal. Media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal report that U.S. Special Forces teams stand ready to forcibly secure weapons stockpiles in the event of an extremist takeover of the Pakistani government do little to assuage these suspicions.
Such insinuations tarnish U.S. credibility and damage its efforts to forge a working partnership with Pakistan and its military establishment as instability mounts in the region. The United States must continue to seek ways to build trust while countering misperceptions.
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Related - Varying Viewpoints:
No US money being used for nuclear security’ - Daily Times
How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan's Nuclear Program From Day One - Counterpunch
Trieste, Al Qaeda and the Stakes in Afghanistan and Pakistan - Bruce Reidel, Brookings
Pakistan Must Expand Its Nuclear Arsenal - S. M. Hali