In the Arena

Our Pakistani Allies

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Last month, it was reported that the Pakistanis were modifying missiles that we had given them for potential use against India. Now we learn that A.Q. Khan gleefully passed nuclear secrets and sources along to the Iranians:

A.Q. Khan, whom Washington considers the world’s most ambitious proliferator of nuclear weapons technology, told a television interviewer in Karachi, Pakistan, that if Iran succeeds in “acquiring nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure. Iran’s nuclear capability will neutralize Israel’s power.”

As I’ve written before, I can understand why Iran would want to deter the Israeli nuclear arsenal. But the complicity of an American ally in that process–one whom we have armed lavishly–is abhorrent. At the very least, it is time for Pakistan to allow U.S. nuclear experts to interview Khan, so we can find out the true extent of the damage he has done. There should be consequences–limitations on some forms of military aid–if the Pakistanis refuse.

I should also note that, according to Laura Rozen, the Iranians have offered a response to the P5+1’s concerns about its nuclear program. The exact nature of the response is not yet known, but I’m linking to this mostly to let you know that Laura–an invaluable source of foreign policy information–has moved to Politico. Congratulations…and keep up the great work!