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Politics & Power

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Pakistan’s Taliban Problem

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari assured the American people and the world that the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is secure despite recent advances made by Taliban troops moving toward Islamabad. In the Swat Valley near the capitol of Pakistan the Taliban claim control over the region while Pakistani forces have claimed to have recently killed scores of Taliban militants. So with conflicting information coming from either side in the conflict, which side is to be believed? Should the world be prepared for Muslim extremists to be in a position to take control of a government which has nuclear weapons?

International security experts have been cautious in their evaluations of the stability of the Pakistani government's hold over the country. In a region where poverty is rampant and religious extremism not uncommon, it is accepted by most that nothing can be taken for granted. Historically poverty has fueled extremist movements and driven revolution within unstable regions. With the known existence of functional nuclear weapons within Pakistan it must also be assumed that if the Taliban takes control over the government their allies in al Qaeda will then have access to nuclear weapons and that they will be used against western targets.

While Pakistani government officials assure the world that their 700,000 soldier military can maintain control over the country and its nuclear weapons it falls to the other nations of the world to be prepared for the possibility that their control may falter and that the Taliban might win over elements within the military and wrest power from the Zardari government. That being the case, what should the international contingency plan be should the Taliban take control of Pakistan? Should America be prepared to unleash a full military strike against a Taliban led Pakistan? If not what should the plan be for the Obama administration should the Taliban seize power?

Currently there are indications coming out of the White House that they are willing to talk to the Taliban in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to find some sort of settlement. Recent comments made by Afghani Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid clearly indicated unwillingness to compromise on any U.S. presence in the region or support for the current Karzai government. The current Afghan government is seen by the Afghani Taliban as an imposed government with no legitimacy and the upcoming elections as imposed as well and something that devout Muslims should boycott. While Mujahid claimed there were no policy ties between the Taliban in Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan he indicated both support their counterparts across the border as needed. Recent actions on the part of the Pakistani Taliban would tend to indicate a similar view of the Pakistani government as being nothing more than puppets of the west which does not bode well for increased stability in Pakistan.

With increasingly unstable conditions arising in Pakistan and Afghanistan related to Taliban influence in the region, U.S., Pakistani and Afghani leaders have their work cut out for them. There is likely to be no end in sight to the bloodshed and violence in the region and with the potential threat of a nuclear armed Taliban and al Qaeda hanging in the balance makes the Taliban situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan seemly the world’s problem as well. How the U.S. and the world will face that threat remains to be seen.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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