April 29, 2009Foreign AffairsSecurity

Obama is confident on Pakistan’s nukes

Like Indian prime minister, Like US president

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

If the Indian prime minister was assured that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are in safe hands for now”, the US president feels” confident that they are. Chidanand Rajghatta drew attention to this exchange at President Obama’s 100-days-in-office press conference.

Chuck Todd: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to move to Pakistan. Pakistan appears to be at war with the Taliban inside their own country. Can you reassure the American people that if necessary America could secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and keep it from getting into the Taliban’s hands or, worst case scenario, even al-Qaida’s hands?

Barack Obama: I’m confident that we can make sure that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure. Primarily, initially, because the Pakistani army, I think, recognizes the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands. We’ve got strong military-to-military consultation and cooperation. I am gravely concerned about the situation in Pakistan, not because I think that they’re immediately going to be overrun and the Taliban would take over in Pakistan…

…We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state.

Q: But in a worst-case scenario…

OBAMA: I’m not going to engage in…

Q: (OFF-MIKE) military could secure this nuclear…

OBAMA: I’m not going to engage in — in hypotheticals of that sort. I feel confident that that nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands. [AP]That’s good to hear. The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper is right to say that the response was not exactly the strongest show of assurance by an American President” but seeing this from the perspective of support for missile defence is beside the immediate point.

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