Afghanistan Pullout Complicates U.S. Response to Any Regional Nuclear Crisis

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 27, 2014, 9:19 a.m.

If all U.S. forces leave Afgh­anistan at year’s end, plans for re­spond­ing to any nuc­le­ar crisis in Pakistan or In­dia could be jeop­ard­ized, the New York Times re­ports.

Ef­forts to fi­nal­ize with Afghan Pres­id­ent Ham­id Kar­zai an agree­ment that would al­low U.S. troops to re­main in the coun­try past the end of 2014 have been rocky. If com­prom­ise can­not be reached and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion chooses to with­draw all forces, the CIA drone bases built in Afgh­anistan might have to shut down be­cause they would be un­pro­tec­ted, uniden­ti­fied U.S. of­fi­cials told the Times.

The fa­cil­it­ies per­mit the United States to fly re­motely pi­loted air­craft in­to nearby Pakistan for mis­sions against al-Qaida or to mon­it­or po­ten­tial threats to that na­tion’s ex­pand­ing nuc­le­ar ar­sen­al.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is suf­fi­ciently wor­ried that a fi­nal ac­cord with Kar­zai might not be reached that it has con­vened a task force of policy, armed forces and in­tel­li­gence ex­perts to brain­storm op­tions for clos­ing the se­cur­ity gap that could be cre­ated if the drone bases have to close, ac­cord­ing to the Times re­port.

Drones launched from oth­er U.S. bases would take longer to reach South Asia, which would com­plic­ate mon­it­or­ing ef­forts and any mis­sion to re­spond to a po­ten­tial nuc­le­ar crisis in Pakistan or In­dia.

Pakistan-based ex­trem­ist groups over the years have staged a num­ber of mod­er­ately suc­cess­ful strikes against mil­it­ary bases in the coun­try and are a ser­i­ous nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity con­cern to the United States. Last year doc­u­ments leaked by former gov­ern­ment con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden re­vealed that mon­it­or­ing Pakistan’s nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al and chem­ic­al fa­cil­it­ies con­sumes a sig­ni­fic­ant part of the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­munity’s at­ten­tion.

A 2009 in­cid­ent that led Wash­ing­ton to worry that some Pakistani atom­ic sub­stances had gone miss­ing promp­ted Pres­id­ent Obama to dir­ect that a long-term sur­veil­lance and search cap­ab­il­ity be cre­ated for the re­gion, the Times re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP’S THREAT REJECTED BY CONGRESS
House Republicans Pour Cold Water On 35 Percent Tariff
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump went on a Twitter rampage Sunday morning, promising a 35 percent tariff on goods imported by businesses that leave America. Not so fast, say Republican leaders in Congress. "I don’t want to get into some kind of trade war," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a comment later reiterated by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who instead called for overhaul of corporate taxes instead of a punitive tax.

Source:
DISCUSSED CLIMATE CHANGE
Al Gore Meets with Ivanka and Donald Trump
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Former Vice President Al Gore found himself in a room with Donald Trump Monday just after meeting with Trump's daughter, Ivanka. Gore discussed the topic of climate change with both Trumps and called his discussion with Donald Trump "extremely interesting." It remains to be seen if Donald Trump will deal with the topic of climate change during his presidency.

Source:
EXPECTED TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH SPRING
Funding Bill To Be Released Tuesday
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.

Source:
TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Mayor Bowser to Sit Down with Trump
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is making the pilgrimage to Trump Tower tomorrow, where she and Chief of Staff John Falchiccio and Senior Adviser Beverly Perry will meet with President-elect Donald Trump. In a statement, she said she'd be discussing "DC’s growth and common areas of interest."

Source:
HAD BEEN CALLING FOR RECOUNT
Pat McCrory Finally Concedes
7 hours ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login